Marijuana Politics

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Thu
09
Sep

Former Cop Pleads Guilty to Accepting $14K in Bribes in Pot Trafficking Case

handcuffs on top of money and US flag

Rudolph Petersen faces up to 10 years in federal prison for allegedly taking the bribes.

One corrupt police officer in California who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes spun a web of lies and deception worthy of a Breaking Bad episode.

On September 7, Rudolph Petersen, 34, pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge for accepting at least $14,000 in cash from a drug trafficker in exchange for escorting massive shipments of pot and other drugs, and searching a police database to supply the trafficker information on suspected snitches, according to  a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Wed
08
Sep

Pico Rivera reconsiders allowing marijuana businesses

people shopping at dispensary

 

Customers shop inside the 420 Central dispensary in Santa Ana on the first day to buy recreational marijuana in California on Jan. 1, 2018. Corona officials are considering allowing a maximum of 17 dispensaries, or stores, in the Riverside County city — one for every 10,000 residents. (File photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Nearly two years after banning industrial, medical and retail marijuana cannabis operations within Pico Rivera, City Council members have put the legalization of such businesses back on the table.

Wed
08
Sep

California Governor Hopeful Jackie McGowan On Cannabis Reform in Newsom Recall Race

image of Jackie McGowan

Jackie McGowan, a long-time supporter of cannabis reform, is running as a replacement candidate if current California Governor Gavin Newsom is recalled.

California Governor Gavin Newsom faces off September 14 in a pivotal recall race as the state’s future hangs in the balance. Forty-six contenders appear on the ballot including Democratic challenger Jackie McGowan—who vows to make reforming California’s cannabis industry a priority including lowering taxes and restrictions.

Wed
08
Sep

Cannabis Billboards Face a Ban in Michigan

That's bad news for the cannabis industry, which has turned to billboards as a marketing opportunity.

Cannabis companies have precious few options when it comes to advertising. With the federal government still listing marijuana as an illegal drug, the industry faces strict regulations on advertising its products and services.

The situation has left companies scrambling to get around advertising restrictions. One outlet for companies has involved placing cannabis billboards on highways in states with legal weed. But earlier this year, California officials mandated the removal of some billboards. And proposed action in Michigan could signal that idea is taking hold in other locations.

Wed
08
Sep

Sioux Falls will ban marijuana grow businesses and cap dispensaries at 5

growing cannabis plants

Medical marijuana retail licenses will be a hot commodity in Sioux Falls.

The Sioux Falls City Council Tuesday night signed off on a proposal coming from Mayor Paul TenHaken's office that will cap the number of retail stores that can operate in the city at five. And though councilors halved the $100,000 license fee that City Hall wanted, another late change allowing the sale of the licenses on the secondary market is expected to drive the value of a license up even hirer.

"The Sioux Falls City Council, by making a license worth $50,000 and transferrable, has just made dispensary licenses into liquor licenses," said Drew Duncan, a Sioux Falls attorney and lobbyist for clients in South Dakota's gambling and alcohol industry, via social media following the 7-1 vote.

Wed
08
Sep

Federal judge blocks ban on water deliveries for Asian pot farmers in Northern California

cannabis greenhouses cover the landscape

A federal judge has blocked a Northern California county’s ban on trucks delivering water to Hmong cannabis farmers, saying it raises “serious questions” about racial discrimination and leaves the growers without a source of water for basic sanitation, vegetable gardens and livestock.

On Friday, Chief U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller issued a temporary injunction against Siskiyou County’s prohibition on trucked-in water deliveries to Hmong farmers growing marijuana in the Mount Shasta Vista subdivision in the Big Springs area north of Weed.

Wed
08
Sep

Mexican National Sentenced For Marijuana Grow In Forest

person handcuffed

Sonora, CA  — A Mexican National convicted of operating an illegal marijuana grow in the Stanislaus National Forest will spend the next four and a half years in prison.

37-year-old Eleno Fernandez-Garcia of Michoacán, Mexico, was also ordered to pay $45,688 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service for the environmental damage that the toxic chemicals and cultivation operation had on public land, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.

Tue
07
Sep

What would the public health and safety impacts of cannabis legalization be in Ohio?

rolling a joint

Last Monday, a panel of state officials approved ballot language for recreational cannabis legalization in the state of Ohio, clearing the way for backers to begin collecting signatures for the initiative. According to reports, the ballot language for this initiative is similar to a bill introduced by state Reps. Casey Weinstein and Terrence Upchurch to legalize recreational cannabis in the state.

I have written previously about the most obvious impact of cannabis legalization in Ohio: hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue. But tax revenue isn’t the only likely impact of recreational cannabis legalization.

Tue
07
Sep

Sheriff: Illegal grow operation with an estimated $50 million in marijuana shut down

illegal grow opporation

YONCALLA, Ore. — A large-scale criminal marijuana grow operating under the guise of a legal hemp operation has been shut down by law enforcement in Douglas County, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

According to a release from the DCSO, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team (DINT) executed a search warrant in the 1000-block of Scotts Valley Road Wednesday, September 1, 2021. The warrant stemmed from an investigation into a large-scale black-market marijuana grow operation.

Law enforcement became aware of the operation on tips from concerned citizens.

Tue
07
Sep

New York cannabis rollout moves ahead, but roadblocks remain

cannabis plant

The rollout of New York’s new cannabis policies has new life after the state legislature confirmed appointments to oversee the regulatory process last week, but the state is still months away from issuing licenses to retailers, growers and processors.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, or MRTA, passed in April. However, much of the rollout has been delayed because Governor Andrew Cuomo did not nominate officials to the newly created Office of Cannabis Management and Cannabis Control Board.

“These are people that wrote the bill. They should’ve had these people in mind when they wrote those statutes,” said Troy Smit, Deputy Director of Empire State NORML.

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