A record 61% of Americans now want weed to be legalized across the US

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘BUSINESS INSIDER’)

 

A record 61% of Americans now want weed to be legalized across the US, with support rising in every age group

Elon Musk (smoking pot)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk with a joint on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast in September.
 The Joe Rogan Experience/YouTube
  • A record 61% of Americans say weed should be legalized, according to the respected General Social Survey.
  • Support has grown across all age groups, US regions, and political affiliations.
  • Growing support has seen all 2020 presidential candidates backing legalization efforts.

A record 61% of Americans say pot should be legalized, according to the respected General Social Survey.

The poll, which has tracked support for legal marijuana since 1973, found that approval reached an all-time high across all age groups, US regions, and political affiliations in 2018.

The numbers reflect how attitudes toward the drug are shifting across the nation. While the majority of Americans want the legalization of cannabis now, only 16% did in 1987 and 1990, the years with the joint-lowest support.

states where marijuana legal mapSkye Gould/Business Insider

Consumption has also become more accepted across the US. Ten states, including California, Colorado, Michigan, have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, and 33 states allow its medical use.

Read moreThis map shows every US state where pot is legal

Though support grew across all age brackets, it remains the highest among 18- to 34-year-olds, the survey found. More than 70% of young Americans say they want pot to be legal, while only 42% of interviewees over 65 say the same.

Survey takers in the Midwest are most in favor, at 68%. While support was lowest in the South, more than half of respondents there still said marijuana should be legalized.

On the political spectrum, Democrats (69%) and independents (66%) were largely in favor of legalizing weed. Only 42% of Republicans agreed, but support among them has been growing steadily over the years. In 2012, only a third of Republican voters wanted cannabis to be legal.

weed dispensary
A weed dispensary in Michigan, the 10th state to legalize recreational weed.
 (Carlos Osorio/AP)

The federal government began banning the sale, cultivation, and use of the cannabis plant about 80 years ago. Although some states have legalized it, marijuana remains illegal on a federal level.

People who oppose marijuana argue that it can be easily misused. But campaigners say that legalization is the only way to cut off revenue from criminal organizations that profit from selling a relatively safe plant.

Now growing public support has all 2020 presidential candidates backing different efforts to legalize marijuana — whether they are Democrats or Republicans.

Sen. Corey Booker has made legalization a centerpiece of his campaign, Elizabeth Warren is pushing to protect the pot industry, and President Donald Trump has said states should have the right to legalize pot if they want.

Read moreWhere the 2020 presidential candidates stand on marijuana legalization

John Lapp, a Democratic national campaign strategist, told The Boston Globe that the political evolution has been remarkable.

“Marijuana legalization, if you look back, was really something for fringe candidates. It’s just not very controversial at all now,” he said.

SEE ALSO: 10 things that can happen after a state legalizes marijuana

New York Will Soon Legalize Marijuana

This article is courtesy of the New York Post

Cuomo readying plan to legalize recreational marijuana

BY MICHAEL BURKE – 12/11/18 03:05 PM EST 11647  00:1500:44More Videos00:44Top headlines for December 10, 201800:44Top headlines for December 9, 201900:44Top headlines for December 8, 201800:44Top headlines for December 7, 201800:44Top headlines for December 6, 201800:44Top headlines for December 5, 201800:44Top headlines for December 3, 201800:44Top headlines for November 30, 2018Close

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will soon unveil a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, his office announced Tuesday.

“The goal of this administration is to create a model program for regulated adult-use cannabis — and the best way to do that is to ensure our final proposal captures the views of everyday New Yorkers,” Cuomo spokesman Tyrone Stevens told the New York Post.

The aide added that the proposal would come early next year, when Democrats in the state will have control of every branch of New York’s government. 

The Post reported that the plan could be included in Cuomo’s executive budget.

New York state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, a Democrat from Manhattan, told the Post that recreational marijuana should be legalized but have limitations similar to tobacco.

“We probably wouldn’t allow smoking cannabis out in public, but might allow it in some establishments,” Gottfried said. “The health questions about smoking cannabis are nothing like problems with tobacco, in part because no one would smoke a comparable quantity.”

Cuomo’s position on marijuana has shifted significantly in recent years. He told reporters in February of last year that he opposed the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, calling it a “gateway drug.”

“It’s a gateway drug, and marijuana leads to other drugs and there’s a lot of proof that that’s true,” he said at the time.

While running for reelection this past August, however, Cuomo created a state panel and tasked it with coming up with a plan to legalize recreational marijuana.

Cuomo’s challenger in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in September, actress and progressive activist Cynthia Nixon, had backed the legalization of the drug.

Nixon said in April it was time for New York to “follow the lead” of other states that had legalized marijuana for recreational use. 

Legal Marijuana Will Create 5 New Professions And 250,000 More New Jobs By 2020

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC NEWS)

 

Six years ago recreational marijuana use was illegal in all 50 states — and had been for nearly a century. Following the 2018 midterm elections, anyone over 21 will soon be allowed to legally consume marijuana in 10 states plus the District of Columbia. Overall, 33 states in the past 22 years have passed some form of marijuana legalization, from medical to recreational use.

Despite the ever-present federal threat — the Drug Enforcement Administration still considers marijuana a banned substance, and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened a crackdown — the $8.5 billion U.S. marijuana industry seems poised to grow as rapidly as the law will allow it. And it’s generating jobs just as quickly.

By 2020 the industry is expected to create 250,000 new jobs, according to New Frontier Data, an industry research firm. In 2017 the number of job posts for openings in the marijuana industry increased by 445 percent, outpacing tech (254 percent) and health care (70 percent), according to ZipRecruiter.

The industry is in search of workers across the spectrum, from accounting to compliance, customer service, sales, technology and more. As the industry grows, so too do the opportunities. California, Colorado and Washington currently have the greatest demand for workers, but that could shift as legalization spreads.

Though the total number of marijuana jobs are still far smaller than those other, much older industries, they include several positions that didn’t exist prior to legalization, offering enterprising workers the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an entirely new career.

Because legalization has come state by state, there is no single association or governing body offering licenses, training or certifications. Workers looking to enter the industry will need to do a bit of research to find out their specific state requirements.

But newcomers don’t necessarily need an encyclopedic nature of weed culture to succeed in the industry. In fact, Karson Humiston, CEO and founder of recruiting firm Vangst, said she decided to start her firm, which specializes in the cannabis industry, after discovering the breadth of talent required by entrepreneurs attending a 2015 industry convention.

“When I asked people what positions they were hiring for, it was everything from a botanist to a chemical engineer to a Ph.D. to a retail store manager to a marketing manager to a human resource manager to a CFO,” she said. “You name it, and these companies were hiring for it.”

Though some may hesitate to join an industry selling a drug that’s still banned by federal law, everyday workers have little to fear, said Morgan Fox, media relations director for the National Cannabis Industry Association. “We haven’t seen any U.S. attorneys make an effort to crack down on businesses that are compliant with state law, even though the former attorney general gave them carte blanche to do so,” he said, referring to Sessions. “If someone is just an employee of a company, I would think there’s pretty much no risk.”

Here are five fast-growing new careers driven by marijuana legalization. Salary data is gleaned from the 2018 Vangst Salary Guide. In most cases the salary ranges are unusually broad due to the industry’s youth and rapid expansion.

Director of cultivation
marijuana cultivation
Garden Remedies operates a cultivation facility in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
Garden Remedies

They call it a weed, but growing crops of strong, healthy marijuana is both an art and a science. All grow operations, no matter how small, need a director of cultivation — also known as a master grower — to oversee planting, cloning, feeding, watering and pest management. At larger operations, cultivation directors have management responsibility for a team of growers, and the position typically requires frequent interaction with law enforcement to ensure compliance.

A background in horticulture or agriculture is a must for this job, and advanced degrees in either are sometimes required. Familiarity with cannabis is preferred, but plenty of employers are happy to hire someone with experience managing a large-scale greenhouse operation.

Average national salary range for qualified professionals: $88,000 to $250,500

Budtender
AP: container of marijuana buds for a customer at Utopia Gardens, a medical marijuana dispensary, in Detroit. Michigan
In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, photo, a clerk reaches for a container of marijuana buds for a customer at Utopia Gardens, a medical marijuana dispensary, in Detroit.

Equal parts pharmacist, bartender, confidant and hall monitor, the budtender is where the marijuana industry meets the consumer. From behind the dispensary counter, budtenders check IDs and prescription cards, track all cannabis sales and — most important — help customers understand the products and how to use them.

Though budtenders are expected to have extensive knowledge of the goods, previous marijuana experience is not necessarily required. “Budtending is a great way to familiarize yourself with the industry and the peculiarities and particulars of it,” said Fox. Many dispensaries will offer on-the-job training, and budtenders are well positioned to advance in the industry.

Average national salary range for qualified professionals: $13.25 per hour to $16 per hour.

Dispensary manager
medical marijuana dispensary
Garden Remedies opened its first medical marijuana dispensary in Newton, Massachusetts in 2016.
Garden Remedies

In some ways, managing a marijuana dispensary is a lot like managing any other retail store: manage the staff, track inventory, and cultivate a clean, professional atmosphere. But the highly regulated nature of the product makes it a bit more complicated. It’s the manager’s job to make sure all employees are compliant with state laws, that everyone entering the store is 21 or older or, if it’s not a recreational store, that all customers have proper medical credentials.

Slip up and your dispensary could be shut down by the state. Dispensary managers often have experience running a high-end retail operation, like an apparel or jewelry shop.

Average national salary range for qualified professionals: $56,000 to $98,000

Director of extraction
Reusable CNBC: Vireo Health lab medical marijuana
A lab technician at Vireo Health in Johnstown, NY.
Jodi Gralnick | CNBC

Legal marijuana is sold in a dizzying variety of forms, including gummies, vaping oils, candies, lotions, teas, pills, perfumes — even tampons. The director of extraction oversees the production of the oils and concentrates within the plants needed to manufacture such products. That means running — or possibly building — a laboratory, managing a staff and maintaining strict scientific protocols.

Not surprisingly, this is a job that requires some skills. “Typically, we see a lot of Ph.Ds, chemists and people coming out of pharmaceutical labs going for these jobs,” said Humiston of Vangst. Fortunately, these positions tend to be well compensated, with salaries topping $250,000 in some states.

Average national salary range for qualified professionals: $72,000 to $191,000

Trimmer
GP: Inside The Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. Facility As Canada Set To Legalize Marijuana
A worker inspects cannabis plants growing inside a shipping container grow pod at the Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Trevor Hagan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

This entry-level, hands-on job represents the marijuana industry’s intersection with the gig economy. Trimmers are called in at harvest time to remove buds from stems and trim leaves in preparation for sale. And while some large indoor grow operations employ trimmers year-round, most smaller businesses will hire trimmers either on a part-time or per-day basis. In fact, digital job boards, like Mary’s List and Vangst GIGS, are popping up to connect growers with freelancers. Though trimmers require no special education, they are usually required to be at least 21 years old and to obtain a special state permit.

A word of warning: Trimmers are the first marijuana workers to face possible displacement by technology. “There’s starting to be a little competition here between humans and machines, which can produce three to four times as much product as a human trimmer,” said Fox. But many marijuana purists insist on a hand-trimmed product, which they believe carries greater potency.

Score one for the humans.

Average national salary range for qualified professionals: $12.25 per hour to $14 per hour.

Michigan becomes first state in Midwest to allow recreational marijuana

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS NEWS)

 

Michigan becomes first state in Midwest to allow recreational marijuana

In a new law that took effect Thursday, Michigan is now the first Midwestern state to legally allow recreational marijuana. It’s the 10th state to legalize recreational pot.

It could take a year before Michigan starts licensing medical marijuana shops to sell to recreational users. Critics worry the wait could lead to high demand on the black market where there’s no oversight, reports CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste.

Stuart Carter showed us the products at his medical marijuana shop in Detroit.

“We’ve had people show up. Unfortunately, we have to shut them down,” Carter said.

Carter said he is eager to sell recreational marijuana at the store, but the state is requiring shops to go through a lengthy application process.

“They’re not going to take applications for about a year, and then there’s going to be the vetting process,” Carter said.

Though people will have to wait to buy recreational pot in stores, the new law allows people 21 or older to keep 10 ounces in their home and grow 12 marijuana plants for personal use.

“It’s going to be the marijuana capital of America,” said Scott Greenlee, the president of Healthy and Productive Michigan. He opposes Michigan’s high possession limit, allowing people to carry up to 2.5 ounces. It’s the largest recreational carry limit in the country.

“It’s too much,” Greenlee said. “That’s going to lead to a lot of crime as well. People are going to realize that all of this product is sitting around. Our law enforcement community is very concerned about is all that marijuana in all those large quantities.”

The new law may be good news for low-level pot offenders. More than 20,000 people were arrested last year for marijuana possession or use that is now legal.

California legalized recreational pot use in 2016. Since then, San Francisco district attorney George Gascon has cleared over a thousand misdemeanor marijuana cases.

“Quite frankly, it can impact your ability to get employment,” Gascon said.

Minor charges, Gascon believes, can have a major impact.

“In some places, it will impact your ability to get public housing or get subsidized housing,” Gascon said. “It may impact your ability to go into military services.”

But Greenlee said most low-level offenders don’t face severe consequences.

“Typically what’s being dismissed is a ticket, a fine,” Greenlee said. “It’s very similar to if… we’re going to 15 miles over the speed limit. We’ll get a ticket, we’ll pay our ticket and move on.”

One county prosecutor in Michigan told CBS News he has already dismissed 50 pending cases for misdemeanor marijuana offenders that are no longer illegal as of Thursday. Under the new law, it is still illegal to use pot in public, on college campuses, and while driving.

Missouri To Approve Legal Marijuana For All Adults In 2019

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF MARIJUANA NEWS)

Missouri’s voter-approved medical marijuana law hasn’t even gone into effect yet, but one state lawmaker is already taking steps to legalize cannabis across the board in 2019.

Rep. Brandon Ellington (D) prefiled a bill on Monday for the upcoming session that, if enacted, would permit adults 21 and older to legally grow, possess and consume marijuana. Individuals would be allowed to keep up to two ounces of cannabis and grow up to six plants—three of which could be “mature, flowering plants” at a time.


Marijuana Moment is currently tracking more than 900 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

Retail sales would still be prohibited under the proposed legislation, however, meaning that the Show Me State would have a form of noncommercial legalization similar to those that exist now in Vermont and Washington, D.C.

Read the text of the new bill here:

Missouri marijuana legalization bill by Marijuana Moment on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/395010906/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-pA73ntDVrUNPmKNKNEzz&show_recommendations=true

Voters in the state approved one of three competing medical cannabis measures during November’s midterm election, 66-34 percent. The law is set to formally go into effect on Thursday.

Even so, Ellington seems to be wasting no time getting the ball rolling on adult-use legalization.

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/the-midwest-may-be-the-next-frontier-in-marijuana-legalization/embed/#?secret=WO4tY1hhrT

 

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Money from marijuana legalization could fix MTA: report

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK POST)

 

Money from marijuana legalization could fix MTA: report

An NYU think tank is high on fixing the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

A new report out Wednesday by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management urges the statewide legalization of recreational marijuana — in order to get more green into mass transit.

“No new revenue source can match a tax on weed, ” Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center, asserted to The Post. “New Yorkers deserve a subway system that is as productive as they are. It is time for New York to legalize and tax cannabis — and to designate the revenues for mass transit.”

A potential tax imposed on marijuana — if pot becomes legalized in New York — “would provide a way for the MTA to address many of their operating and capital requirements,” the center said.

Marijuana is currently legal for adult recreational use in 10 states, plus Washington, DC.

The report, citing BDS Analytics — a leading source for cannabis industry data — says the legal pot industry in North America reached $9.2 billion in 2017 and “is projected to generate $47.3 billion over the next decade.”

“This report argues that the subways need a dedicated revenue source with the potential for growth in future decades — one that does not divert funds from other public services, and that has yet to be tapped by the state and local government,” the paper reads.

Several states, including Colorado, Washington and Oregon, have already reported “higher-than-expected tax revenues” from the legalization of marijuana, the report notes

The state Health Department has already backed the legalization of recreational cannabis.

In July, the department released a report saying that legal marijuana sales could generate between $248.1 million and $677.7 million in revenue for the state in the first year alone.

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The 11th State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Is …

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘MOTLEY FOOL’ WEB SITE)

 

The 11th State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Is …

This state could see $850 million in annual cannabis sales by 2022 if recreational weed is legalized.

Dec 2, 2018 at 11:41AM
This has been a big year for the North American cannabis industry. Without question, the highlight was the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada on Oct. 17. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had spoken for years about legalization and was finally able to see his vision realized with the passage of the Cannabis Act. A few years from now, when capacity-expansion projects are complete, the Canadian legal weed industry could be generating upward of $5 billion in added annual sales.

It’s also been a banner year for the U.S. market. During midterm elections in November, voters in two new states approved medical marijuana initiatives, bringing the number of states to have legalized pot in some capacity to 32. Residents of Michigan also voted to green-light adult-use cannabis, becoming the 10th state to do so.

Now cannabis enthusiasts and investors have turned their attention to which state(s) could be next to legalize. Thankfully, not much guesswork may be needed.

A judge's gavel next to a pile of dried cannabis buds.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

The Garden State has its eyes set on legalizing adult-use pot

On Monday, Nov. 26, two panels in New Jersey voted overwhelmingly to approve three new cannabis bills — one of which aims to legalize adult-use marijuana.

These panels, from the state’s Senate and Assembly, voted 7 to 4, with two abstentions in the Senate, and 7 to 3, with one abstention in the Assembly, in favor of the bill that would legalize recreational marijuana within the state. The additional two bills that also passed cover an expansion of the state’s existing medical cannabis program and the creation of a system that would speed up criminal expungements of low-level cannabis offenses. Now all three bills move on for an official vote from the full Senate and Assembly. Assuming passage, a recreational marijuana bill could find its way to Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D-N.J.) desk within a few weeks.

What might recreational legalization look like in the Garden State? As with other legalized states, it would allow adults aged 21 and up to purchase up to 1 ounce of cannabis. There would be an attached tax rate of 12%, which would be considerably lower than the aggregate tax rates that some folks might pay in Washington state or California of up to 37% and 45%, respectively. For what it’s worth, Gov. Murphy has suggested that a 12% tax rate is too low. Instead, Murphy has called for an excise tax of 25% on legal weed sales for what could be an $850 million industry within the state by 2022.

A bearded man holding up a lit cannabis joint with his fingertips.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Beyond the basics, the broad-based legalization bill also includes a section on the expedited expungement of low-level marijuana offenses. Though a separate bill is being worked on that would tackle this faster and more efficiently, the mere existence of this clause is worth noting. It’s also worth pointing out that North Dakota voters turned down a recreational legalization initiative in the recent midterms that had an expungement clause, suggesting that it’s no given to attract support.

Finally, the bill would allow for marijuana delivery services within the state, as well as give permission for dispensaries to create “consumption areas.” Essentially, New Jersey would permit pot shops within dispensaries where consumers could enjoy their product outside of their homes.

Needless to say, it’s an ambitious bill with a lot more going on than a simple cut-and-dried legalization of recreational pot.

An indoor commercial cannabis growing facility.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Marijuana stocks and investors are paying close attention

Though Gov. Murphy has taken exception to the proposed tax rate, he’s been very clear in the past about his support for legalizing recreational marijuana as both a revenue driver within the state and a means to reduce cannabis enforcement costs. This, presumably, gives New Jersey a very good chance of becoming the 11th state to legalize recreational pot. Should this happen, a number of pot stocks could be all smiles, and none more so than Curaleaf Holdings(NASDAQOTH:LDVTF).

Curaleaf, which IPO’d in late October with more than a $4 billion valuation, making it the largest IPO in marijuana history, currently has 28 dispensaries, 12 cultivation facilities, and nine processing sites throughout select legalized U.S. states. As a reminder, since the federal government has stood firm on its Schedule I classification for cannabis (i.e., wholly illegal), interstate transport of marijuana isn’t permissible. Therefore, the only way to vertically control supply and costs as a U.S. dispensary is to also grow and process cannabis within a state, which is what Curaleaf is doing.

As noted by analyst Robert Fagan of GMP Securities, courtesy of Investor’s Business Daily, the broad-based legalization bill would allow existing dispensaries in the state (which includes Curaleaf’s) to immediately begin recreational sales, assuming approval, without the need to apply for any new licensing.

Furthermore, Curaleaf is working on a 435,000-square-foot greenhouse facility in New Jersey. The first phase of that production should come online next year, allowing it to become a key producer and retailer within the Garden State.

A marijuana processor holding a freshly trimmed bud in their gloved left hand.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

By a similar token, the also-newly public Acreage Holdings (NASDAQOTH:ACRZF) would likely benefit from a New Jersey legalization. Back in March, the vertically integrated Acreage made the decision to enter the New Jersey market by partnering with the Compassionate Care Foundation (CCF) in the state. CCF is one of only six licensed alternative treatment center operators in New Jersey, with Acreage providing the financial resources to help meet patient demand. Presumably, with Acreage having assets up and down the cannabis supply chain, it could broaden its horizons if the New Jersey legalization bill passes.

Last, and per the norm, don’t sleep on KushCo Holdings (NASDAQOTH:KSHB). Pretty much anytime a new country or state legalizes in some capacity, KushCo is there chomping at the bit to get its piece of the packaging-and-branding-solutions pie. As a provider of tamper- and child-resistant packaging, KushCo ensures that medical and recreational growers remain compliant with local, state, and federal laws. Also, because packaging requirements tend to be so strict, KushCo takes on the task of helping growers and their products stand out. It’s an indispensable behind-the-scenes pot stock that could benefit if the Garden State goes green.

Sean Williams has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends KushCo Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

South Korea Legalizes Medical Marijuana, First Country In Asia To Do So

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BUSINESS DAILY NEWS)

 

South Korea became the first country in East Asia to legalize medical cannabis, marking a significant milestone in the global industry and a potential turning point in how the drug is perceived in traditionally conservative societies.

The country’s National Assembly voted to approve amending the Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs to pave the way for non-hallucinogenic dosages of medical cannabis prescriptions.

Medical marijuana will still be tightly restricted, but the law’s approval by the central government is seen as a breakthrough in a country many believed would be last – not among the first – to approve any use of cannabis, even if it is just low-THC, or CBD, to start.

To receive medical cannabis, patients would be required to apply to the Korea Orphan Drug Center, a government body established to facilitate patient access to rare medicines in the country.

Approval would be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Patients would also need to receive a prescription from a medical practitioner.

South Korea’s cannabis law overcame a major obstacle in July when it won the support of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, which said at the time it would permit Epidiolex, Marinol, Cesamet and Sativex for conditions including epilepsy, symptoms of HIV/AIDS and cancer-related treatments.

On Nov. 23 the ministry said a series of amended laws passed in a National Assembly session will expand the treatment opportunities for patients with rare diseases.

A number of other countries had been vying to join Israel as the first countries in Asia to allow medical cannabis, including Thailand and Malaysia.

“South Korea legalizing medical cannabis, even if it will be tightly controlled with limited product selection, represents a significant breakthrough for the global cannabis industry,” said Vijay Sappani, CEO of Toronto-based Ela Capital, a venture capital firm exploring emerging markets in the cannabis space.

“The importance of Korea being the first country in East Asia to allow medical cannabis at a federal level should not be understated. Now it’s a matter of when other Asian countries follow South Korea, not if.”

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]

To sign up for our weekly international marijuana business newsletter, click here.

Legal weed is now one step closer to reality in N.J.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NJ.COM)

 

Legal weed is now one step closer to reality in N.J.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Are you interested in the N.J. cannabis industry? Subscribe here for exclusive insider information from NJ Cannabis Insider.

After months of false starts and delays, New Jersey took a big step toward legal weed on Monday, with lawmakers advancing a bill that would legalize the possession and personal use of marijuana.

Committees from both the state Senate and Assembly approved the bill, which now awaits a full vote in the Legislature before it could be signed into law by the governor.

After nearly four hours of debate in a hearing room packed with about 200 people, the bill cleared the Senate budget committee, 7-4 with two abstentions, and then Assembly budget panel, 7-2, with one abstention.

This is the first official action taken by the Legislature on recreational marijuana since Gov. Phil Murphy took office in January, in part on the promise to legalize marijuana. Prior to Monday’s hearing, no bill legal weed bill had made it past introduction.

Here's how N.J. is likely to legalize marijuana under new bill just unveiled by top Democrats

Here’s how N.J. is likely to legalize marijuana under new bill just unveiled by top Democrats

Gov. Phil Murphy still needs to be on board for the legal marijuana bill to become law.

“This process has been a long one,” said Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, who has led the charge for legalization in New Jersey. “I started talking about this 15 years ago.”

Despite the committee action on Monday, legalization is not assured.

Even the supporters of legal weed agree that New Jersey’s plan could still use some work, so it remains possible that legalization could bleed into next year as lawmakers continue to tweak the legislation. The only remaining day this year where the Legislature is scheduled to be in session is December 17.

“They’ve made good progress, but there are still changes that need to be made,” said Dianna Houenou, a senior policy advisor with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, who spoke in support of legalization. Houenou said she wanted to see improvements to language in the bill about expungement and other social justice issues.

Scutari said Monday that the bill remains a work in progress will be changed before it gets a floor vote. It has already been amended since it was introduced last week.

The legal weed bill, which was unveiled last week, would legalize the possession and personal use of one ounce or less of marijuana for people at least 21 years old, and create, regulate and impose a 12 percent tax a commercial marijuana industry in the state. An extra 2 percent excise tax could be raised for towns which host cannabis businesses.

The legislation also aims to speed up the expungement process for people who have prior arrests and convictions for possession or distributing small quantities of marijuana. Within six months of the law’s enactment, the Administrative Office of the Courts must create an electronic filing system for expedited expungements, a concept that has been the linchpin of social justice debate this year.

First pass at legal weed could roll into Statehouse in days, but full vote will require joint effort

First pass at legal weed could roll into Statehouse in days, but full vote will require joint effort

The top two leaders of the state Legislature gave an update Wednesday on the push to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey.

The main tension in the hearing on Monday was social justice versus money.

“This is still being sold under the auspices of social justice, but it’s about money,” said Sen. Ron Rice, D-Essex, who has long been opposed to legalization. “It’s not about social justice. It’s about money for white investors.

“It’s a slap in the face to people like me and people of color.”

But several lawmakers on the committees later pushed back on that idea, citing the state’s racially disproportionate marijuana arrest rate.

An ACLU report from last year found that black people are three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite similar usage rates between the groups.

“Do you have a solution that’s better than our current legislation?” Assemblyman Joe Danielsen, D-Somerset, asked a group of law enforcement officials about fixing the racially disproportionate arrest rate. If they did have a solution, they did not share it before the committee.

Other opponents of legalization mentioned health concerns associated with marijuana, along with one of the more confounding issues that accompanies legalization: driving while high. Inconsistent and sometimes flawed data regarding marijuana DUIs

means it's hard to draw firm conclusions

means it’s hard to draw firm conclusions

One of the biggest concerns about legalization is whether it would make New Jersey roads more dangerous. We looked at what happened in four states.

.But in the end, final passage of the legal weed bill may well come down to the balance of social justice and money. Houenou and other advocates, along with several key lawmakers, have said they wouldn’t support the bill if its social justice elements, like expungements and minority participation in a future industry, were too weak.

On the other hand, Murphy has indicated he might not support a bill unless it had what he concerns an acceptable tax rate. Murphy wants 25 percent, the new bill calls for a 12 percent tax.

On Monday, Murphy declined to say whether he’d support the bill that is now moving through the state Legislature.

“It’s too early to tell,” Murphy said during an unrelated news conference at his Trenton office.

“We haven’t commented on specifics, but I am very happy that this is moving.”

After the bill passed the committees, Senate President Stephen Sweeney said the Legislature would be getting Murphy’s approval on the bill before taking a full floor vote.

NJ Advance Media reporters Brent Johnson and Susan K. Livio contributed to this report.

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Payton Guion may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @PaytonGuion. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

High Times Magazine: I have well over a decade of growing the absolute finest cannabis

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF HIGH TIMES MAGAZINE)

 

DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT, READ WHAT A MASTER BREEDER HAS TO SAY ABOUT SPECTRUM KING LED

Article by Mr. Spliff of Cannabis

I have well over a decade of growing the absolute finest cannabis.

I personally consume a lot of cannabis as well. I know cannabis very well. I know the industry and its struggles very well. Cannabis is my life. I have used every kind of plant food, grown in every kind of medium, run every size or room, tried every trade secret and use every available form of lighting technology.

There are so many critical variables when operating a successful garden. As that garden becomes the centerpiece of a growing business it is extremely important to control these variables. Some variables outweigh others, but it is a perfectly functioning system we wish to achieve.

In my experience the most critical variable is lighting. Everything in gardening is about maximizing photosynthesis. environment, plant food, medium and so many other like variables are designed to maximize photosynthesis. As this is the case it is imperative to have a lighting program that really drives the plants to their full potential.

I have used many different forms of indoor lighting. Metal Halide and HPS HID lighting, both single ended lamps and double ended lamps. CHM/LEC 315w lamps in various reflector setups. Many forms of fluorescent and induction lighting. I have used many different builds of LED lighting as well. Companies make claims left and right about better power usage or cooler operating temps or cheaper initial costs and sometimes even government rebates/reimbursement… at the end of the day it comes down to 1 thing and 1 thing alone. Performance.

The SPECTRUM KING Low Pro Veg LED is hands down the most effective and high-performance lighting system I have ever used. It is the way the plants react to the spectrum. Their increased rate of growth and structure of that growth. The way the light drives the plants to build a massive and dense root system. Absolutely perfect and luscious plant tissue. Huge stalks and stems that developed quickly.

Most modern lighting systems are no bigger than a shoe box. This creates a centralized source of light that leaves a lot to be desired when lighting larger spaces of plants. This can lead to non-uniform structure in the plants. The SPECTRUM KING Low Pro Veg is a 4’ x 4’ lighting deck that is so powerful, so consistent and uniform in its broadcast of light. This translates directly to the uniformity and consistency of the plants. I have never seen a lighting system that delivers like Low Pro Veg. I have seen at least a 20% increased growth rate, better plant structure and stronger plant presence with the Low Pro Veg than any other lighting system. The Low Pro Veg being a dimmable unit allows vegetative plants to stay in the same space for the term of their cycle as you can dim the output as the plants get closer to the lighting unit keeping them from light toxicity and fouled plant tissue and form. These lighting fixtures also require little to no environmental control to maintain ideal temperatures in the grow space. The SPECTRUM KING Low Pro Veg LED has so many advantages. Truly professional grade lighting for the modern indoor Commercial/Recreational/Medical cultivator!

Product shot of the SPECTRUM KING Low Pro Veg LED
If a garden is the business and LIGHT drives the garden then it is of the highest importance that your lighting equipment is powerful and consistent. In this ever-growing industry the only businesses that will survive is those with a consistent result and powerful presence. The SPECTRUM KING Low Pro Veg LED is the only light I recommend for vegetative cycle lighting.

It should be noted that I have observed 100+ strains/varieties under the Low Pro Veg. Exceptional results across the board.

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