Maine

Germany: Berlin To Trial Legal Marijuana Sales

Germany weed.png

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Berlin is moving ahead with a plan to at least semi-legalize marijuana after a cross-party movement agreed on a ground-breaking pilot scheme.

The capital’s Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party have agreed on a “controlled distribution of cannabis to adults” project.

Marijuana possession is illegal in Germany, although people found with less than 15 grams are often not prosecuted.

Various German newspapers cited Green politician Benedikt Lux, on Election Day in the U.S., as saying “a scientifically accompanied pilot project for the controlled delivery of cannabis” was planned.

Berlin’s Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district has previously tried to legalize controlled cannabis dealing, but has been stopped by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices.

The city is one of 16 federal states in Germany with the authority to introduce its own laws.

The move follows marijuana legalization measures that passed in California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts, making marijuana possession of up to an ounce legal for adults over 21 years of age.

Max Plenert of the German Hemp Association, quoted by broadcaster Deutsche Welle, said: “The legal code is decided at the federal level, and this is about a local attempt to try to do things differently.

U.S.: What Does Trump Presidency Mean For The Marijuana Industry?

USA weed.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Whether or not you were a supporter for a Donald Trump presidency, everyone wonders what his presidency will mean for his or her beliefs. Marijuana users and supporters wonder how his presidency will affect the marijuana industry.

Election Day 2016 marked a big win for marijuana. Residents voted in nine different states on legalizing some form of marijuana. Five of those states were voting on whether or not to allow recreational use. Eight of those nine states passed their legalization measures, with only Arizona's recreational measure not passing.

California was the largest state to legalize it, making recreational use legal for adults. In addition to California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada legalized recreational marijuana use. Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota approved medical initiatives. Montana passed an additional measure to legalize commercial growing and distribution.

The Motley Fool declared marijuana a big winner on Election Day, but pointed out that how the marijuana industry could change under the Donald Trump presidency is open to a lot of interpretation. No-one knows what decisions Trump and Congress will make regarding the marijuana industry between now and January 2020.

California: Recreational Marijuana Now Legal

California.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Recreational marijuana is now legal in California. Maine, Nevada, and Massachusetts also legalized recreational marijuana, but the size and population of California puts its decision in a different league and it could lead the way to figuring out policy around the drug.

While the recreational marijuana initiative in Arizona failed, several other states voted on medical marijuana. North Dakota, Montana, Arkansas and Florida all approved medical marijuana.

60 percent of Americans support legalizing weed, up from 31 percent in 2000. California is the state with the largest economy and — now that it has legalized cannabis — the national weed industry has tripled in size.

California’s marijuana industry could be bigger than its famed wine businesses. The market for both recreational and medicinal marijuana is now projected to grow to $22 billion by 2020, up from $7 billion this year.

This may also put a lot more pressure on the federal government to lift its ban of the drug. The Drug Enforcement Administration has long classified cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, the most restrictive classification. This means it’s in the same category as heroin and LSD. Just this August, the DEA rejected an appeal to stop classifying cannabis as Schedule I drug.

Maine: Final Results Are In, Recreational Marijuana Is Legal

Maine mj.png

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Final results of Maine's referendum to legalize recreational marijuana were tabulated Thursday, declaring recreational marijuana legal in the state. The count took nearly two days because of how close the race was, with victory coming within a fraction of a percentage point.

Supporters had already claimed victory and predicted home cultivation of marijuana would be legal by around Christmas.

The Maine people have passed it, and we should work on implementing it," said Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey, of Auburn, who supported the ballot issue.

People 21 or older will now be allowed to possess and use up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana, and retail marijuana shops and social clubs could open around the state. Some municipalities have balked at allowing such businesses to open in their communities.

The campaign that pushed for legalization turned immediately toward the implementation process on Thursday. They said they hope marijuana will be available in retail establishments by 2018.

"We're excited that Maine is going to join many other states that have decided to have a smarter marijuana policy — a policy that no longer punishes adults for smoking marijuana," said David Boyer, campaign manager for Yes On 1.

U.S.: Big Pharma's Fight To Block Recreational Marijuana

weed.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

According to television ads that began running last month in Arizona, marijuana legalization would be a disaster for the state. The advertisements feature lawmakers and teachers who paint a bleak future for Arizona’s children if voters approve Proposition 205, a measure that would allow people aged 21 and over to possess an ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants for recreational use.

“Colorado schools were promised millions in new revenues” when the state approved recreational pot use, the voiceover says in one ad. Instead, schoolchildren were plagued by “marijuana edibles that look like candy”.

What's surprising is who is sponsoring the ads. In August, the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics cited concerns for child safety when, with a $500,000 contribution, it became the largest donor to Arizona’s anti-legalization drive.

Although child safety is a legitimate concern, critics say the Insys contribution in Arizona is a ploy to protect market share. Insys manufactures Subsys, a prescription painkiller derived from fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Utah: Gubernatorial Candidate Unveils Medical Marijuana Plan

Weinholtz 2.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

In the wake of his wife pleading guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana charge, Utah gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz has rolled out a plan to legalize medical marijuana.

"There have been people suffering long enough, and we know this would help those people, so now is the time," Weinholtz said on Thursday.

His wife has said she uses marijuana to deal with chronic pain. Feds declined to prosecute her case and sent it to the Tooele County Attorney. On Tuesday, she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor pot possession charge.

“It's bigger than just my wife and my family,” Weinholtz said. “There are thousands of Utahns that are struggling with these many different types of conditions.”

Weinholdts's plan includes: -Legalizing medical marijuana, with reasonable safeguards.

-Funding pain management programs, to cut down on opioid abuse.

-Expanding education and police department supply of Naloxone, used to save drug overdose patients.

"The increase in opioid addiction in the state has been dramatic, has been 400 percent since the year 2000, and medical cannabis would help with the reduction of opioids as well," Weinholtz said.

U.S.: 60 Percent Of Americans Say Pot Should Be Legal

purple bud.jpg

By Derrick Stanleyout
Hemp News

With recreational marijuana use up for legalization on the ballot this election in several states, a new Gallup poll shows that support for legal pot is at its highest in nearly 50 years.

The poll found that 60 percent of Americans now believe that marijuana use should be legal for adults. Gallup has been asking the question for 47 years, and that is the highest level of support seen in that time.

Gallup first surveyed Americans in 1969 to see whether they thought marijuana should be legal; only 12 percent said yes. Support during the 1980s and 1990s was steady at about 25 percent. But support for pot legalization has been on the rise since 2000.

Five states are voting on marijuana legalization this November 8: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in four states and the District of Columbia.

Support for legalizing marijuana has increased more among younger people than those in older age groups, Gallup said. From 2005 to 2016, support for legalizing marijuana increased 33 percentage points among adults ages 18 to 34, compared to 26 percentage points among those ages 35 to 54, and 16 percentage points among those ages 55 and older. Currently, 77 percent of adults ages 18 to 34 support legalizing marijuana, compared with 45 percent of adults ages 55 and older.

Utah: LDS Leaders Ask Mormons To Oppose Legalization Of Recreational Marijuana

Mormons.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The LDS Church's First Presidency is asking the church's members in three western states to oppose bills that would legalize recreational marijuana.

In letters sent Wednesday to Arizona, California, and Nevada, Church President Thomas S Monson and his counselors said, "We urge church members to let their voices be heard in opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana use."

"Drug abuse in the United States is at epidemic proportions," the First Presidency noted, "and the dangers of marijuana to public health and safety are well documented. Recent studies have shed light particularly on the risks that marijuana use poses to brain development in youth. The accessibility of recreational marijuana in the home is also a danger to children."

Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults over 21. On Nov. 8, Nevada residents will vote on Question 2, Arizona residents will consider Proposition 205 and Californians will decide on Proposition 64. Maine and Massachusetts also have recreational marijuana on voters' ballots next month.

Maine: Governor LePage Warns Against 'Deadly' Marijuana In Over-the-top Video

Paul LePage.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Maine Governor Paul LePage released a false and misleading video Thursday attempting to convince voters to vote "no" on "Question 1", the state's marijuana legalization referendum up for a vote on the upcoming ballot.

“Question 1 is not just bad for Maine, it can be deadly,” LePage warns, before falsely claiming traffic fatalities have gone up in Colorado since the state legalized recreational pot.

He makes a claim that “people addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to be addicted to heroin.” He predicts a future where children and pets die from accidentally consuming “marijuana snacks,” and in which drug culture impinges on “schools, daycare centers and churches.”

“They will smoke weed and sell pot at state fairs,” he adds. “Businesses could not fire employees for using marijuana.”

According to a recent report from the Drug Policy Alliance, marijuana has had no noticeable effect on traffic deaths in either Colorado or Washington.

And marijuana has been proven to reduce opioid deaths. In the 23 states where medical marijuana was legal in 2014, there were nearly 25 percent fewer deaths from opioid overdoses, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Maine State Rep. Diane Russell (D) of Portland believes the video could actually help the campaign for legalization.

Maine: Marijuana Referendum Campaign Intensifies

sexing_marijuana_plants.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

With less than a month to Election Day, the campaign to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Maine is intensifying.

Proponents have spent more than a half-million dollars on TV ads in Maine. A recent poll showed that 10 percent of respondents are still undecided on the issue. Referendum supporters hope Maine and Massachusetts will become the first New England states to legalize marijuana for adults for recreational use. Law enforcement groups have spoken out against the states' initiatives.

Maine legalized medical marijuana in 1999. California, Nevada and Arizona also have marijuana legalization questions on the ballot this year. Four other states have medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot.

U.S.: Marijuana Legalization Is Leading In Every State Where It's On The Ballot

bud.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

As Election Day 2016 nears, marijuana legalization measures are favored by voters in all five states that have them on their ballot.

As recently as a month ago, polling showed that voters were wary of legalization measures in Arizona and Massachusetts. The races are close in all states, however, meaning the contests could still go either way.

In Arizona, an Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll of 784 registered voters taken in late August found that 50 percent supported marijuana legalization, 40 percent opposed it, and 10 percent remain undecided. That result is a big change from the results of a July poll of likely voters showing that only 39 percent said they favored the measure.

A post-debate SurveyUSA poll of 751 likely voters in California found that Proposition 64, which would legalize, tax and regulate the sale of recreational marijuana, is supported by 52 percent of the electorate and opposed by 41 percent, with 6 percent undecided. This is a lower margin than other recent polls there, which have shown support of 60 percent or more.

In Maine, a late September poll of 505 likely voters found 53 percent support for the legalization measure, 38 percent opposed to it and 10 percent undecided. This number has been fairly constant since early this year.

U.S.: Record Number Of States Voting On Marijuana Reform Next Month

bud.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A record number of states will be giving voters the chance next month to approve marijuana legalization and regulation.

Five states will have ballot measures to allow recreational adult cannabis use, and at least two others are considering approval for medical marijuana in various forms.

“One in five states will be able to go to the polls and vote for some level of legalization,” says Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, the nation’s oldest organization advocating for cannabis reform. “It’s important to emphasize that there are an unprecedented number of state initiatives. It’s a significant evolution and maturation of our issue and the way advocates campaign for marijuana reform.”

Armentano says that it is also another indication of the current disconnect between the views of constituents and their elected officials. “It’s not the way the democratic process is supposed to work. When there’s a change in opinion, they [ legislators] should be reflecting on and making that change,” he says. “But they aren’t, and people are taking it into their own hands.”

The five states with votes to approve adult recreational marijuana use are Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada.

Nebraska: Marijuana Groups Already Petitioning For 2018 Ballot

bud.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

With 54 days left until November's election, a group of marijuana advocates pushing to eliminate Nebraska's penalties for those caught with small amounts of pot has already begun gathering signatures to put the issue before voters in 2018.

A second group seeking a broader constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana entirely has also filed 2018 petition language with the Nebraska Secretary of State's Office.

Volunteers started gathering signatures for the more limited proposal Aug. 5, targeting high-traffic areas and events such as last week's Omaha rally by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

"We're in Lincoln three times a week," said Mark Elworth Jr., a perennial candidate for elected office from Omaha who drew up the petition language and is leading the campaign.

Nebraska decriminalized marijuana in the 70s, but anyone caught with an ounce or less is still subject to a fine.

Elworth said the most significant consequence for people who are caught with pot, particularly teenagers, is the permanent record it creates.

"We're trying to protect people," he said. "Those minor possession tickets ... they can ruin people's lives."

Massachusetts: Legalization Campaign Has Raised $2.4 Million This Year, Seven Times More Than Opposition Campaign

Massachusetts.png

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The campaign in support of legalizing marijuana for recreational use for adults over 21 in Massachusetts has raised over $2.4 million so far in 2016, according to data from the state.

The $2.4 million raised by Yes on 4 is almost seven times the amount the initiative's opposition campaign, the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, has raised. This group, which is supported by Governor Charlie Baker and others, has only raised $360,000 so far this year.

The New Approach PAC has been the primary contributor to the Yes on 4 campaign, having donated $2.1 million of the $2.4 million raised.

The Yes on 4 campaign has spent nearly all the money donated, with only $22,500 still on-hand. Most of the money was spent on TV commercials, but the New Approach PAC is expected to make another large donation soon.

The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts has spent very little of their funding, still having $320,000 on-hand.

If Question 4 passes in November, adults 21 and over would be allowed to possess up to an ounce of pot. It would also allow the personal cultivation of up to six plants, and allow those in a private residence to possess up to ten ounces instead of just one.

November 8 is the day of the vote. Marijuana legalization is up for a vote the same day in Arizona, Maine, Nevada, and California .

U.S. Recreational Marijuana On The Ballot In 5 States Election Day 2016

bud.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Nine ballot measures for marijuana legalization on election day 2016 will amount to the largest number of voters in history casting a vote to determine marijuana laws.

Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington were the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana, and now they have the chance to be joined by five more states. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will vote on legalizing recreational pot on ballot measures this year on election day in November.

Four other states -- Arkansas, Florida, Montana and Missouri -- will be voting on laws to make medical marijuana legal.

"This is really a watershed year for marijuana legalization, so I'm hoping that we'll see some big changes in November," F. Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, told CNN.

California: Kennedy Group Puts $2 Million Into Fighting Pot-legalization Measures

California weed 2.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A national coalition that includes Rep. Patrick Kennedy has raised more than $2 million to fight marijuana legalization initiatives in five states this year, including a November ballot measure to legalize recreational pot in California.

Smart Approaches to Marijuana is the anti-legalization group founded by Kennedy and co-founders David Frum, senior editor of the Atlantic; and Kevin Sabet, a former drug policy advisor to the Obama administration.

Sabet, president of the group SAM Action, said that California will get a large amount of the money, because its vote affects so many people and is likely to have the biggest influence on other states considering similar proposals.

“If there is one thing we agree on with legalization advocates, it’s that California is important,” said Sabet, explaining why a large share of funding is going to the state.

If approved by voters this November, the ballot measure would allow adults 21 and older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of pot for recreational purposes and would also impose a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.

SAM Action also plans to fund battles against marijuana legalization initiatives on the November ballots in Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine, in addition to Arizona, where signatures have been turned in, according to Sabet.

Maine: Travel Guru Rick Steves Donates $50,000 To Marijuana Legalization Campaign

Rick Steves.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Rick Steves, popular travel writer and television host, has donated $50,000 to Maine's political action committee devoted to seeing recreational marijuana legalized in the state.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol says in its latest campaign finance report that it has raised just over $191,000 for the reporting period that ended on July 19.

Steves promised to match “dollar-for-dollar” donations up to a total of $50,000 in a letter to legalization supporters in May. Campaign finance records show that his donation was made on July 18.

“Through my travels in Europe, I’ve learned that pragmatic harm reduction makes much more sense than legislating morality,” Steves wrote in the letter. “And I believe in civil liberties. Responsible adults should be able to use marijuana, just as they can use alcohol. Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska have demonstrated that it is possible to build a system of marijuana control and regulation that works. This isn’t about being ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ on drugs. This is about being smart – and controlling and regulating marijuana the right way.”

Steves has worked for legalization in both Washington and Oregon, and resides in Washington.

The campaign in Maine has so far raised a total of $436,000, and had about $93,000 cash on hand at the end of the reporting period.

Arkansas: Medical Marijuana Measure Makes November Ballot

Arkansas mmj.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Arkansas Secretary of State's office confirmed last week that the state's medical marijuana measure, Arkansans for Compassionate Care, had submitted enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

The measure would allow for medical marijuana to be produced, tested, and distributed to patients diagnosed by a physician. One of over 50 qualifying conditions would allow patients to access a medical marijuana card. The measure would allow for 38 licensed nonprofit care centers. Patients that wish to grow their own pot must receive a 'hardship certificate' that states they do not live a reasonable distance from one of the care centers.

This will not be the first time Arkansans have voted for legalization.A similar measure was brought to the ballot in 2012, but lost, winning only 48 percent of the vote. Advocates say this time will be different, with polls in the area showing 84 percent support.

Arkansas adds its name to the list of eight (possibly nine) states voting on marijuana initiatives this fall. Florida and Missouri join Arkansas in voting for medical marijuana access. Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine, Arizona, and California are all voting on adult recreational use. Michigan’s measure remains in litigation after the state dubbed their signatures “stale.”

Maine: Initiative To Legalize Marijuana Will Appear On Ballot As Question 1

MaineRegulateMarijuanaLikeAlcohol2016.jpg

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap on Monday announced that the initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol in Maine will appear on the ballot as Question 1.

The secretary of state set the final wording of the ballot question last week. It reads, “Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”

“The wording of our ballot question is far more important than the order in which it will appear," said Yes On 1 Campaign Manager David Boyer. "It conveys to voters that the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use will be subject to regulation, taxation, and local control.

"We are pleased, as those themes comprise the core of our initiative and help explain the benefits of ending marijuana prohibition," Boyer said. "Residents of Maine will be hearing a lot more about regulation, taxation, and local control as we spend the next four months encouraging them to vote ‘Yes’ on Question 1.

U.S.: Hemp Industry Generates Half a Billion Dollars In Sales

hemp field 3.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The hemp industry netted half a billion dollars in sales in the United States last year, despite unconstitutional federal restrictions on industrial hemp farming.

As reported in The Weed Blog:

"The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses, has released final estimates of the size of the 2015 U.S. retail market for hemp products. Data from market research supports an estimate of total retail sales of hemp food, supplements and body care products in the United States at $283 million….The HIA has also reviewed sales of clothing, auto parts, building materials and various other products, and estimates the total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2015 to be at least $573 million."

Eric Steentres, executive director of the Hemp Industries Association, says the next step is very obvious.

“We need Congress to pass federal legislation to allow commercial hemp farming nationally, for this ripe industry to finally be able to bloom,” he said.

But congressional action seems unlikely anytime soon.

It is technically "legal" to grow hemp, but farmers are required to obtain a permit from the DEA. That happened just once in four decades up until 2014. Since then some states have taken action to nullify the federal regulation.

Syndicate content