Marijuana hasn't hurt booze sales in the three states where weed has been legal the longest

Industry observers expected that the marijuana legalization trend in the U.S. would hurt liquor sales, but a new study from a booze trade association says that hasn't been the case in the three states where weed has been legal the longest.

Overall industry trends remained consistent, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, which did the study. Spirits sales went up in the three states – Colorado, Oregon and Washington state – although wine and beer stayed on their mixed to negative course.

"At this point, we've seen no impact on spirit sales from legalized recreational marijuana," said Chris Swonger, CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council.


It's been 5 years since recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado; Here's where the tax money stands

In just a few days, Denver will hit the five-year mark for the country's first commercial cannabis market. Jan. 1 is the anniversary of legal and recreational marijuana in Colorado. As Denver approaches the milestone, the city shared the following statistics looking back over the years:


Republican Senator says President Trump still supports bill protecting legalized marijuana states

President Donald Trump has vocally supported efforts towards marijuana reform, although nothing has actually been passed since he took office. But one Republican senator says he's still committed to those goals, writes Joseph Misulonas. 


Father fights to legalize marijuana in bid to help son

Despite many states legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, the Drug Enforcement Administration -- an agency under the Justice Department -- still considers it a Schedule 1 drug. That puts it on the same list as heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

A group of patients, families and activists are now appealing a decision in a lawsuit against the Justice Department in a push to get marijuana off that list. They hope it will pave the way for marijuana legalization across the country.


Call them canna-bees: how cannabis helps bees and vice versa

The relationship between bees and cannabis is making headlines in both the scientific and entrepreneurial world. And it just may be a match made in heaven.

Case in points: A recent experiment shows that hemp may produce a needed pollen source for stressed-out bees. And an Israeli company is marketing honey made by bees who are fed cannabidiols.

Both represent unusual bee-related stories, even by the standards of an insect that has provided many strage stories and unsolved mysteries through the years.


Denver is working to clear thousands of low-level marijuana convictions but Colorado Springs has no plans to do the same

More than 10,000 Denver convictions for low-level marijuana possession from before the drug was legalized in Colorado are likely to be erased, but Colorado Springs has no plans for a blanket amnesty.

“For too long, the lives of low-income residents and those living in our communities of color have been negatively affected by low-level marijuana convictions,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said recently in a statement. “This is an injustice that needs to be corrected, and we are going to provide a pathway to move on from an era of marijuana prohibition that has impacted the lives of thousands of people.”

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers disagrees that marijuana convictions from the prohibition era should be wiped clean.


New Colorado Legislature could lead to new marijuana legislation

With the year coming to a close, a new Democrat-controlled legislature will soon take over the state. This means a few laws that have struggled in previous sessions could finally get moving.

Many speculate that marijuana legislation will play a big part in the upcoming session, including one idea that was voted down in early 2018: a pilot program to allow certain Colorado cities from testing out a marijuana delivery service.

It failed to pass with a Republican majority senate but now with a Democratic majority and a Governor-elect who is open to expanding the industry that may change.


Cannabis companies are investing into local arts scenes

According to the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, people in the state spend more money on the arts than on sports. And a big reason for that is marijuana, writes Joseph Misulonas. 


Mayor of Denver announces plans to vacate pre-legalization marijuana convictions

The United States Conference of Mayors is a non-partisan organization bringing together mayors from U.S. cities with populations above 30,000. At their annual summer meeting, Denver, Colorado mayor Michael Hancock took the lead organizing a task force, dubbed the Government for Responsible U.S. Cannabis Policy Coalition, to take everything cities have learned about legal weed and make policy recommendations to Congress and the White House. In addition to developing resolutions for the federal government, the coalition also drew up a resolution calling on local governments to vacate marijuana charges for now-legal conduct.


Confusion over weed, hemp clouds prosecution

Complications in the criminal case of a Palisade hemp farmer are highlighting the reality for law enforcement agencies that prosecuting marijuana crimes in Colorado can be a bit sticky.

David Cox, a well-known Palisade peach grower, was charged with high-level drug felonies last year after a raid on his property resulted in the seizure of dozens of cannabis plants.

In the months since, however, Cox's attorneys have raised legal issues with investigators' search warrants. The crux of Cox's case is whether he was growing hemp rather than marijuana and if so, whether investigators should have known that.


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