Marijuana Politics

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Fri
09
Nov

New Jersey Senate President draws line in sand: Marijuana tax can't be too high

With less than two weeks to go before Thanksgiving, it’s looking less and less likely New Jersey will legalize recreational pot before the end of this year.

Gov. Phil Murphy had made legalizing marijuana one of his front-burner issues when he took office last January. But negotiations on a legislative package have stalled.

State Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, who must sign off on any marijuana bill that’s put up for a vote, is making it clear he’s drawn a line in the sand over how much the state should tax recreational weed.

“If you tax too much you’re going to drive people to the black market," he said.

Fri
09
Nov

How will Kansas address Missouri's new medical marijuana law?

Many Kansas City metro residents cross the state line between Missouri and Kansas multiple times a day. Now that Missouri has voted to legalize medical marijuana, what will those with legal prescriptions need to know when going into Kansas? 

"We are a metro area with hundreds of thousands of people crossing the state line, so it is something we will have to address," Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Thursday. 

Voters in Missouri spoke loudly at the polls on Tuesday. Medical marijuana will become legal on Dec. 6, and residents must have a prescription to use it. 

Under the current law, any Missouri resident possessing medical marijuana could be arrested after crossing into Kansas, where medical marijuana is not legal, according to Howe.

Fri
09
Nov

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner: New AG must protect states' rights on marijuana

The next U.S. attorney general is going to have to respect the decision of Colorado and other states to legalize recreational and medical marijuana — at least if Republican Sen. Cory Gardner has his way.

“Whoever comes after him is going to face some pretty tough questions about where they stand on states’ rights and making sure they will stand up for states’ rights,” Gardner told The Denver Post on Thursday. “I am going to demand that the new attorney general side with the president because the president is right on states’ rights.”

Fri
09
Nov

Governor-elect of Illinois aims to legalize marijuana early in his term

Illinois Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker plans to push for the legalization of recreational marijuana early in his term, he said on Wednesday. Pritzker, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner by a margin of 15 percentage points in Tuesday’s midterm elections. During the campaign, Pritzker had argued that cannabis legalization could bring the state needed revenue and address the racial injustice prevalent in the enforcement of drug laws.

Pritzker said in a television news interview that a legal cannabis industry will bring new employment opportunities in addition to taxes for the state and local governments.

Fri
09
Nov

Could there soon be legal recreational cannabis sales in Washington, DC?

Democratic Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington, D.C. has announced that she intends to introduce legislation next year that would legalize the sale of recreational cannabis in the nation’s capital.

Bowser, who was re-elected to her position on Tuesday, sees the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections as an opportunity to implement a pot legalization measure already passed by voters.

Thu
08
Nov

What does Sessions’ resignation mean for the cannabis industry?

Cannabis industry professionals and advocates alike are rejoicing following yesterday’s announcement that Jeff Sessions officially resigned as attorney general as requested by President Trump.

Sessions was one of the biggest opponents to the legal cannabis industry. Early in 2018, he moved to rescind the Obama-era policy that allowed each state to create and make decisions on their own about cannabis without the federal government interfering or enforcing federal law. The move sent stock prices plunging almost immediately after California fully legalized on January first.

Thu
08
Nov

Have Canadians given up on Israeli cannabis exports?

DLA Piper Canada partner Adv. Noam Goodman and iCan founder Saul Kaye speak to "Globes" about the cannabis opportunities Israel is missing.

Last month cannabis became completely legal throughout Canada for both medical and leisure purposes. However, although the Canadian market represents a larger than ever opportunity for Israeli companies, the Canadians have already given up somewhat on working with Israel, explains DLA Piper Canada Partner Adv. Noam Goodman, who specializes in cannabis regulation.

Thu
08
Nov

Six Oregon cities vote to allow marijuana business

Voters in six Oregon cities appear to have lifted or rejected bans on recreational marijuana businesses.

Ontario, Joseph, Klamath Falls, Gates, Sumpter and Clatskanie voted to allow recreational marijuana businesses within city limits, according to unofficial election results from the state Elections Division.

Voters in Joseph, Clatskanie, Ontario and Klamath Falls were overturning existing bans on recreational marijuana in those places.

Altogether, 29 local measures related to marijuana were on the ballot, according to an Oregon Capital Bureau analysis of the unofficial results.

Some communities had multiple measures relating to marijuana on the ballot, separating the question of whether to allow retail sales and to tax such sales.

Thu
08
Nov

Oregon: Ontario prepares for legal marijuana dispensaries after voters approve cannabis ordinance

Voters approved a resolution that will allow recreational marijuana dispensaries within city limits with a three percent tax on every sale. Even before election day potential owners started camping out in hopes of starting a cannabis dispensary on the Oregon border, the people camping out were happy to see the initiative past.

The city also anticipated the possibility of legalizing dispensaries by holding public meetings and listening to the citizens to put buffers in to protect residents.

Those buffers include dispensaries can't be within a thousand feet of parks and schools, 500 feet away from residential areas in a designated commercial or industrial zone and dispensaries can't be within 1,000 feet of each other.

Thu
08
Nov

Michigan’s governor-elect may pardon those with marijuana-related convictions

Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan may pardon those with marijuana convictions after the state’s voters legalized recreational cannabis with the passage of Proposal 1 on Tuesday. Whitmer, who was chosen by voters in the midterm election, said in a press conference on Wednesday that she may use her executive powers to grant clemency to incarcerated marijuana offenders.

“I think that the people of Michigan have said that for conduct that would now be considered legal no one should bear a lifelong record for that conduct,” Whitmer said.

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