Mayor of New York backs marijuana legalization

The mayor of New York has officially voiced his support for legalizing marijuana last week following New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to legalize cannabis across the state.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said that if the state of New York legalizes cannabis that past low-level marijuana convictions should be expunged and that sales from marijuana should be “closed to corporate interests”. He said that the market should be open to New Yorkers, especially Hispanic and African-American residents who have for too long been unfairly targeted for marijuana use.

“Legalization, done the right way, will marry opportunity with justice,” said de Blasio.


Pennsylvania Governor indicates support for legalizing recreational cannabis in series of tweets

In a series of questions and answers on Twitter earlier this week, it appears that Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf is considering legalizing recreational cannabis in the state.

“More and more states are successfully implementing marijuana legalization, and Pennsylvania should learn from their efforts,” Wolf responded to one tweet which asked when Pennsylvania will “catch up and make recreational marijuana legal".

“Any change would take legislation, but I think it is time for Pennsylvania to take a serious and honest look at recreational marijuana.”


Canadian privacy watchdog warns cannabis users to use cash, not credit, for purchases

A Canadian privacy watchdog is warning Canadians who have or plan to purchase cannabis to avoid using their credit cards and instead use cash, especially if they plan on travelling outside of Canada.

Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien posted a statement on his website this week warning cannabis users and anyone who may purchase cannabis about the risks associated with using your credit card. He also provided guidelines for purchasers to understand more about their privacy rights.

 “Cannabis is illegal in most jurisdictions outside of Canada,” reads the statement. “The personal information of cannabis users is therefore very sensitive. For example, some countries may deny entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis, even lawfully.”


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo makes cannabis legalization a priority

New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has changed his stance on marijuana legalization within the last year, announcing on Monday that legalizing cannabis across the state is a top priority for 2019. The governor who as early as last year considered marijuana to be a “gateway drug” now says that legalizing cannabis is one way of alleviating some of the obvious racial injustices currently happening in New York.

“Let’s legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all,” said Cuomo during a speech on Monday.

“We have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well-off and one for everyone else. And that’s going to end,” he said. “We must also end the needless and unjust criminal convictions and the debilitating criminal stigma.”


Cory Gardner to introduce amendment for cannabis businesses to criminal justice reform bill

Republican Senator from Colorado Cory Gardner is known well for his advocacy for marijuana businesses, and now he plans to make another move to protect them in states where marijuana is legal.

Gardner plans to present an amendment to a criminal justice reform bill that would protect marijuana business programs as well as allow such businesses to open bank accounts in legal states without repercussions. Cannabis is still a Schedule 1 substance at the federal level so banking would still remain illegal in states where cannabis has not yet been legalized.


Canada: Ontario cities already opting out of cannabis retail stores

The Ontario provincial government has given municipalities until January 22 to decide if they will host cannabis retail shops and some major cities in the Greater Tortonto Area have already made the decision to opt out.

Both Mississauga and Markham decided Wednesday that the cities will not allow for their communities to have retail locations which are expected to begin opening across the province in April. In both cases, the city councils felt there are too many variables and issues that need to be addressed before stores should be allowed to open.

The Mississauga council decided “no” to cannabis stores with a 10-2 vote.  


Canada: Toronto mayor wants more municipal control over retail cannabis shops

The Mayor of Toronto John Tory wants the Province of Ontario to give more agency to municipalities in deciding where retail cannabis stores can be located.

Ultimately, Tory’s concern is the safety of residents and particularly children, especially in the City of Toronto. He still believes retail locations should be made available but thinks that cities should have more of a say in where they can be located within their respective communities.


Cannabis rescheduling recommendations put on pause by World Health Organization

When Canada decided to legalize recreational cannabis, it sparked a movement for the rest of the world, with more countries eagerly moving toward legalizing medical and recreational cannabis. However, there are still some conservative countries that are making it difficult for this process to take place.


Ottawa police support city in recommending allowing cannabis retail locations

The Ottawa Police Service is supporting the City of Ottawa’s recommendation in allowing retail store locations in the city, and that the move to do so would help in reducing organized crime.

The Advice from the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) was included in a report published earlier this week that was given to council before a special meeting taking place next Thursday. The Council will decide in that meeting whether or not to allow retail stores.


Strainprint Technologies partners with Israeli research leaders to study cannabis as a treatment for endometriosis

Cannabis’ ability to treat numerous illnesses and conditions is becoming more apparent by the day in the wake of legalization and this is especially true for a number of conditions specifically affecting women's health.

More and more women are opting to use cannabis to treat symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome and menopause, but it’s also having very positive outcomes in treating other conditions that affect women in particular.  As such, Strainprint Technologies Ltd. announced last month that it has partnered with Israel-based research groups, Lumir Lab and Gynica to conduct clinical studies on how cannabis can be used to treat endometriosis. The study will be the first of its kind and will be carried out simultaneously in both Canada and Israel.


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