Marijuana Politics

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Wed
14
Nov

Time to cut the red tape on banks doing business with marijuana?

In 2016, a Republican sweep in races for Congress and the White House signaled the likelihood of changes in arcane banking regulations that elated Wall Street but were as familiar to the denizens of Main Street as the text of the Magna Carta or the 39 signatures on the U.S. Constitution.

The results of last Tuesday's mid-term elections signal a potential shift in a far less esoteric rule: one that effectively prevents banks from opening accounts for marijuana distributors.

"There's growing recognition that the policy that makes it difficult to nearly impossible for state-legal marijuana businesses to have access to banking services is outrageous," said Rep. Earl Bluemenauer, the Oregon Democrat who helped form the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

Wed
14
Nov

The big election win for marijuana hardly anyone is talking about

This state didn't vote to legalize recreational marijuana, but it did the next best thing.

Marijuana turned out to be one of the biggest winners on election day in the U.S. last week. Michigan residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Missouri and Utah voters passed ballot initiatives that legalized medical marijuana. Democrats regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives, which should increase the prospects for federal marijuana reform.

Wed
14
Nov

The long route from approval to reality on cannabis ballot questions

Nearly two years after recreational marijuana was legalized in the state, experts are concerned that the rollout will be caught up in delays and red tape as medical marijuana, another voter-approved measure, was four years earlier.

When Massachusetts voters approved Question 4 in 2016, they established a Jan. 1, 2018 launch date for sales. That was pushed back by legislators to July 1.

By mid-October, the Cannabis Control Commission, which was created by the law, had issued only six final licenses — two for retail, two for independent testing labs, a fifth for cultivation, and one for product manufacturing. And there are still several steps to take before the businesses will be approved to open.

Wed
14
Nov

Some Michigan communities say no to legal marijuana businesses

Some Michigan communities are already saying no to marijuana businesses after voters approved the use of the drug for people 21 and older .

The South Bend Tribune reports the Niles City Council in southwestern Michigan voted Monday to temporarily opt out of allowing retail marijuana sales in the city. Council members have said they’re waiting for the state to sort out rules and regulations for the sale of marijuana.

The Herald-Palladium reports the southwestern Michigan community of St. Joseph also is among those expected to opt out.

Wed
14
Nov

Cannabis companies generously support their communities but don't get to deduct it from their taxes

As we come into the home stretch of 2018, the cannabis industry is thinking about big important things. You know… MJBizCon in Las Vegas, the upcoming holidays, end-of-year tax planning. Rest assured, the last group is smallest by far. But not for the reason you’d think.

Non-cannabi will make end-of-year charitable contributions to reduce 2018 federal taxes. Cannabis companies cannot capture that deduction, says Jeff Garrison, CPA. “The same federal laws that prohibit interstate banking and commerce prohibit federal charitable tax deductions by cannabis businesses.”

Wed
14
Nov

10 cannabis executives predict how AG Jeff Sessions' retirement will affect the marijuana industry

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions tendered his resignation on November 7th, the cannabis industry took notice. As one of the most vocal marijuana opponents in the highest level of U.S. government, his resignation could pave the way for federal legalization.

With Matthew Whitaker set to take Sessions’ place, the industry could be poised for significant change in the near future. How do cannabis industry insiders feel about this news? Will it be as groundbreaking as many hope? Here are insights and predictions from 10 cannabis and hemp industry executives to provide some perspective.

Tue
13
Nov

Seattle company gets Washington’s first cannabis research license

The state of Washington is about to hand out its very first cannabis research license. This new license allows companies to grow and process cannabis purely for research purposes.

Verda Bio, a Seattle-based pharmaceutical company, told me they successfully received their research license and will soon be growing cannabis in their SoDo facility. The LCB confirmed that after a fee was processed the research license would be issued.

Tue
13
Nov

How losing pro-marijuana Republicans in congress could affect legalization

Last Tuesday, Democrats retook control of the House of Representatives, a development that many marijuana advocates celebrated, writes Joseph Misulonas. But now some are wondering if losing pro-cannabis Republicans may actually hurt the cause.

Tue
13
Nov

The Republic Of Vanuatu is the latest country to legalize medical marijuana

The Republic of Vanuatu—a South Pacific country with a population of 277,000—has announced they will be legalizing medical marijuana, writes Calvin Hughes. The small archipelago nation off the west coast of Australia hopes to have their first medical marijuana production licenses issued by the end of the year.

Tue
13
Nov

'Cannabis law' is a budding industry for Michigan attorneys

With the passage of Proposal 1 in last Tuesday's midterm election, Michigan attorneys are gearing up for an influx of people interested in the business side of the budding marijuana industry.

The doors seem to have swung wide open for marijuana businesses in Michigan. The excitement is there. But is the legal advice?

Cities across Michigan soon will have to develop local regulations and tax codes for marijuana businesses. All of this forthcoming motion into a new, highly sought-after industry also means attorneys will be weeding through hundreds of calls from new, potential clients who are looking to navigate the legal landscape of it all.

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