Colorado may have cannabis tasting rooms in 2020

Coloradans are a step closer to being allowed to smoke in social settings thanks to a bill that was introduced last week.

 House Bill 19-1230 would allow a regulated system for people to consume cannabis in social settings. With a proper license, it would allow cannabis hospitality establishments to run where there would be some product sales but would ultimately provide a space for people to consume their cannabis.

If the bill is passed, establishments could be allowed as early as January 2020.


Florida Senate passes bill to allow smokable medical cannabis

The Florida Senate voted last week to repeal the ban on smokable medical cannabis products in an overwhelming 34-4 vote.

Bill SB 182 will allow for patients to get 2.5 ounces of cannabis every 35 days, will provide $1.5 million for medical cannabis research as well as allow smoking in certain nursing homes as well as hospice facilities.

“We’ve been working around the clock with our colleagues in the House, with the Governor’s Office to come up with a consensus product and I think we’ve done that,” said State Senator Jeff Brandes who sponsored the bill.  


NHL Alumni Association partners with Canopy Growth for post-concussion studies

The NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA) announced on the weekend that they are entering a partnership with major Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth to see how Cannabis could potentially provide medical benefits for former NHL players.

The study will be led by neurosurgeon of NEEKA Healthcare Dr. Amin Kassam. They will specifically examine how certain marijuana compounds can treat illnesses associated with concussions.

“As we continue to break new ground, push for increasing understanding as a medicine, we feel it is necessary for ourselves to step up and advance research in this space,” Chief Medical Officer of Canopy Growth Dr. Mark Ware said at an event in Toronto.


Hawaii unveils out-of-state medical cannabis program

Medical cannabis patients visiting the Aloha State will be able to purchase their medicine during their stay after Hawaii officials unveiled their out-of-state medical program on Tuesday.

Hawaii has one of the fastest growing medical programs with $12.6 million in sales last year and more than 1,500 pounds of medical cannabis sold in the state. Officials have said that shortages have so far not been an issue and it’s unlikely that they’ll see a shortage issue anytime soon. As such, the state officially opened their medical cannabis registration program to patients from outside of the state.


Facebook plans to loosen cannabis policies

Facebook has recently suggested that they plan to loosen their policy on cannabis promotion after years of banning cannabis businesses.

The company held an internal presentation to discuss how they would go about changing the strict policies currently in place. Currently, marijuana businesses are not allowed to sell or even promote their products on the social media platform, even if it is legal in the state they’re operating in.

“Our policies at the moment do not allow for the sale of marijuana on the platform,” company officials said during an internal presentation. “We want to consider whether we can loosen this restriction, especially in relation to medical marijuana, legal marijuana and brick and mortar stores.”


Israeli approves compassionate use of MDMA to treat PTSD patients

The popular party drug, MDMA, also known as ecstasy, has officially been approved in Israel as a treatment for Post-traumatic stress disorder.

An Israeli government representative learned about the benefits of using MDMA to treat PTSD from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a California-based organization. Following their research, Israel has approved using MDMA to treat 50 patients suffering from PTSD.

“The ministry is taking this seriously and with appropriate caution, an in-depth investigation has been carried out,” Ministry of Health official Bella Ben-Gershon told sources. “There is a considerable population in Israel of people suffering from PTSD that is resistant to other treatment.”


San Francisco expunges more than 9,000 marijuana convictions

The city of San Francisco has announced that it has expunged more than 9,300 cannabis related convictions from as far back as 1975.

“This makes San Francisco the first county in the country to complete the automated marijuana record clearance process,” according to a statement released by the office of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.

The expungement process for cannabis convictions is actually a law in California as stipulated by AB 1793, which is a part of proposition 64, the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized cannabis in the state. Since the law was passed, people have been allowed to petition their conviction, but that can often be a lengthy and expensive task.  


Ontario announces details for cannabis retail training

As the province of Ontario prepares to open retail cannabis stores in April, the details of the mandatory training that employees will receive was announced last week.

CannSell, as selected by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), will be the only authorized program used to train the employees that will work at the 25 storefronts expected to open on April 1.

CannSell is a product of Lift & Co., a technology company aimed to inform Canadians about cannabis. The program was developed with MADD Canada and was commissioned by the AGCO last year.


London Ontario store will run under Tweed banner

Canopy Growth Corporation, Canada’s largest cannabis producer, has announced a pending partnership with Quebec-based company Couche-Tard to enter an agreement with a winner of Ontario’s cannabis store lottery.

Couche-Tard is an operator of 15,000 variety stores internationally under the Circle K brand and others. Together, the companies plan to open a store in London, Ontario. The store is expected to open at 1025 Wellingston Street South under the Canopy brand Tweed. The store and its branding are currently awaiting approval from the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

The application will now enter into a 15 day public notice period for members of the community to either file a complaint or a written submission on the proposed location.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks out against racial and gender disparities in legal marijuana industry

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke out earlier this week against the obvious race and gender disparities that currently exist in the cannabis industry in states where it’s legal.

Ocasio-Cortez spoke at the US House Committee on Financial Services and called out the glaring issue that women and racial minorities are severely underrepresented in executive roles in the legal cannabis industry.


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