Should you be worried that your marijuana buying history could end up in the wrong hands?
Just think about all of the potential conflicts:
– You could be denied purchase of a firearm!
– It could jeopardize your health insurance coverage?!
– You could be denied employment!
– You might even be denied citizenship!
– Involved in a child custody proceeding?
Well Oregon legislators aren’t waiting around to find out. Oregon legalized recreational cannabis in July of 2015, and a new Oregon Bill that just passed the legislature (53-5) will prohibit marijuana retailers from keeping information collected from their customers for more than 48 hours.
The legal cannabis (marijuana) industry is booming. According to Forbes.com, it was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016. With double digit annual growth, adult recreational sales alone are expected to jump from $2.6 billion in 2016 to $11.2 billion by 2020.
In addition to recreational sale, medical marijuana sales are expected to more than double to $13.3 billion by 2020. That’s a combined annual market of over $24 billion, anticipated in just the next 3 years.
Does AG Sessions worry you?
Jobs, state’s rights, and taxes. That’s right. Jobs, state’s rights and tax revenue are the cannabis industry’s secret weapons against marijuana detractors in the Trump administration and elsewhere.
According to a survey conducted by Marijuana Business Daily, the marijuana industry already employs over 100,000 peoplein the U.S. alone.
Along with billions in sales, comes millions in tax revenue.Motley Fool estimated that in 2016, Colorado’s marijuana tax haul likely exceeded $200 million. That’s a lot of green. And it’s only going to continue to grow each year.
3,500 Sentenced to Marijuana Related Offenses in 2016
According to report release by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, over 3,500 people were sentenced to marijuanarelated federal offenses in 2016 – more than either Crack Cocaine (1,582) or Heroin (2,830). View the entire breakdown here.
The good news is that these numbers have dropped in half since 2012, and continue to fall year after year.
The vast majority of those sentenced went to prison, with the average prison term of 28 months.
When the statistics for marijuana offenses are broken out by race, it’s clear that Hispanics loose big.
77% of all marijuana offenders sentenced were Hispanic.
The trend is promising, but the numbers are still highly disturbing. How long will we continue to jail people for selling a flower?
$28 Billion: Annual Cost ofFederal Prohibition on Marijuana
The Tax Foundation is a leading Washington D.C. -based nonpartisan, non-profit think tank whose mission since 1937 has been to change the world through tax policy.
Madison, WI – The Wisconsin state Assembly voted 98-0 last week, to legalize possession of CBD oil! CBD oil is a marijuana extract and is used to treat seizures, reduce pain and inflammation and may even be effective as a neuro-protectant. It won’t get you high, but many people swear by its benefits.
With the state Senate having overwhelmingly approved the bill, it now moves on to the governor’s desk for his signature. Gov. Scott Walkeris expected to sign the legislation into law.
Unfortunately (for many), the Wisconsin bill does not go far enough. For one thing, the legislation does not allow for the production or sale of CBD oil in Wisconsin. Parents are expected to obtain CBD oil from outside the state. Then bring it back into Wisconsin, in violation of federal law. Seems a little short-sighted, doesn’t it?
Updated March 28th, 2017
NORML – Madison reports that Wisconsin City has removed fines for marijuana possession and consumption.
Under a new ordinance passed this week in March, adults 21+ will no longer be subject to fine for possessing marijuana (public or private). Using marijuana in private is also exempt from any fines. However, public use is still prohibited and subject to a $200 fine.
SMITH FALLS, Ontario – Another milestone for the cannabis industry was reached today…
Canopy Growth [TSX:WEED], Canada’s largest and arguably most successful marijuana company – has been added to the S&P/TSX Composite Index. The index represents nearly 70% of the total market capitalization on the Toronto Stock Exchange and is considered a key benchmark for the Canadian equity market.
With the addition of Canopy Growth to the index, more and more investors will now be ‘buying and holding‘ weed.
Canopy Growth has a marketcapitalization of $780.6 million and a year-to-date stock price change of +192%.Canopy Growth is definitely a cannabis company to watch in 2017.
Update – March 27th, 2017
According to the CBC, PM Tradeau will announce legislation on April 10th – to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Canada by July 1, 2018!
Shares of Canopy Growth Corp.jumped 11% in trading on the news.
Breaking News: Multiple Marijuana Legislative Bills could Signal Shift IN GOP
At least two bills have been introduced by Republican lawmakers in the past 6 weeks, that would end federal marijuana prohibition.
I’m Just a Bill – H.R. 715
On January 27th, 2017 – House Republican Rep. Griffith Morgan from Virginia introduced H.R. 715 to the 115th Congress. Legislation that would reschedule marijuana from a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, AND exclude cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana.
Read more by clicking the image below.
I’m Just a Second Marijuana Bill!
On February 27th, 2017 – House Republican Rep. Thomas Garrett of Virginia introduced legislation entitled, Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.
Rep. Garrett’s legislation, if it becomes law, would end federal prohibition by removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. This would in effect, leave marijuana legality/policy up to the states.
Rep. Garrett has been a vocal Trump Supporter and the timing of his bill is worth noting. AG Sessions himself suggested during his confirmation hearings – that if congress didn’t like his approach to marijuana law enforcement, they should change the laws accordingly.
Perhaps the Republicans are attempting to do just that?! First with a stick, then with a carrot?
Garrett’s office released a press release to coincide with the legislation’s introduction:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today 5th District Congressman Tom Garrett introduced legislation aimed at federally decriminalizing marijuana.
The short title for this legislation is cited as the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.” If passed, this bill would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list – joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco.
Garrett went on to say,
“this step allows states to determine appropriate medicinal use and allows for industrial hemp growth, something that will provide a major economic boost to agricultural development in Southside Virginia. In the coming weeks, I anticipate introducing legislation aimed at growing the hemp industry in Virginia, something that is long overdue.”
Senators on Marijuana in 2017
Take a listen to Senator Schatz as he blastsAG Sessions on the Senate floor, February 8th, 2017 – over his comments disparaging marijuana.
According to the Associated Press (article), Senators from eight states with legal recreational marijuana (Washington, Colorado, Nevada, California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, Alaska), sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 2nd, 2017 – asking him to uphold the Department of Justice’s existing enforcement policy toward marijuana.
Among those who signed this letter where Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey.
Related: Election 2016 – Marijuana Legalization Spreads Across the U.S.
Trump on Marijuana
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald speaks in front of a crowd in Reno, Nevada on October 29th, 2015.
Listen to Trump’s answer, when asked how he would approach medical and recreational marijuana.
House Republican Rep. Griffith Morgan from Virginia, has introduced a billto the 115th Congress that would reschedulemarijuana from a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, AND exclude cannabidiol (CBD) from the definitionof marijuana.
Part I – The Big News | Reschedule Marijuana!
Introduced in the House of Representatives on January 27, 2017, H.R. 715 would reschedule marijuana under section 202 of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. 812) to a schedule under section 202 other than the dreaded schedule I.
Schedule I is reserved for substances that have a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use, and demonstrate a lack of acceptable safety when used under medical supervision.
No accepted medical use?
Not so fast! Clearly, marijuana does not belong under Schedule I. Marijuana has demonstrated health benefits.CBD oil, from marijuana and hemp, is used by many people to treat joint inflammation and the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. And CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high.
Science is just now beginning to explore the potential health benefits of cannabis. Recent clinical research suggests applications in the treatment of anxiety and schizophrenia, and even cancer. The THCV and terpenes in marijuana and hemp may even help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels and possibly even help you avoid serious health problems such as diabetes.
This bill, if passed, would be truly historic. It would completely alter the landscape for the cannabis industry nationally and perhaps even globally. Although rescheduling alone would likely not immediately end Federal prohibition, it would drive a huge crack in the wall of ignorance surrounding medical and recreational marijuana.
Part II – Equally Great News | CBD Excluded from CSA!
H.R. 715 would also remove cannabidiol (CBD), famous for its efficacy in treating intractable childhood epilepsy (e.g. Dravet Syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome), from governance under the Controlled Substance Act!
H.R. 715, by itself, would not prevent the FDA from restricting and regulating marijuana, but it would remove the DEA from the conversation.
Passage would also likely permit banks and other financial bodies to engage with state-compliant marijuana companies. This would bring much needed capital and financial security to an industry producing billions of dollars outside of mainstream financial institutions and poised to be crowned the #1 most valuable legal cash crop in the U.S.
Update: House Republicans have introduced a second marijuana Bill that would end Federal prohibition– Click for info
Jim O’Neill Could Bring Disruption and Marijuana to the FDA
According to Bloomberg News and TheHill, President Donald Trump is strongly considering Jim O’Neill, an outspoken marijuana supporter and libertarian, to be the next head of the FDA. Jim O’Neill has been a staunch critic of the FDA for years and if appointed to lead the agency, he is likely to usher in dramatic changes that could shake the agency to its core. And maybe, just maybe, that’s not such a bad thing.
Jim O’Neill is reportedly a close business associate of key Trump transition team member Peter Thiel – a tech financier worth more than $2 Billion. Theil was named #246 on the Forbes400 List of Richest People in America in 2016. Theil spokesman Jeremiah Hall was quoted recently in an email reported by Bloomberg Politics, “Jim O’Neill has extensive experience in government and in Silicon Valley. He is a strong candidate for any of several key positions.”
Mr. O’Neill is currently the Managing Director of Mithril Capital Management LLC,
a global investment firm cofounded by Peter Thiel. Previous to Mithril Capital, Mr. O’Neill spent just under six years working in various roles for the Department of Health and Human Services during the George W. Bush Administration, from 2002 – 2008. O’Neill first served as the Director of the Speech and Editorial Division, then as Associate Deputy Secretary and ultimately as the Principal Associate Deputy Secretary contributing to policy and regulatory matters affecting the FDA.
In addition to working for the Dept. of HHS, O’Neill also served on the Board of Directors (and was a founding member) for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform. CCPR is a nonpartisan organization which opposes prohibition and supports reasonable marijuana regulation. O’Neill is likely to bring big changes to the FDA, easing research and perhaps access to cannabis based pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.
VICE News gets an exclusive look inside Canopy Growth Corp., the Canadianmarijuanaproducer that calls itself the world’s largest legal weed company.
After the Vice video about the Canopy Growth Corp was published, it was subsequently restricted to the UK audience alone.
Link to UK restricted video. Once the video is republished without this restriction I will update this post with the new version.
Until then, I have substituted the video with another from Vice News – intended for the U.S. audience:
So far the company has only been allowed to sell to medical patients, but that will all change when prime minister Justin Trudeau makes good on his promise to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. And that’s especially good news for Canopy, which has been gearing up to dominate the future recreational market for years, even though the government hasn’t yet even unveiled its legalization plan. This year, its subsidiary Tweed announced a partnership with Snoop Dogg, and it became the first weed company to list on a major stock exchange.
But there’s questions around the corporation’s deep ties to the ruling Liberal party, and how much influence it has over government policy and who will get left out of Canada’s future weed regime.
In a recent study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, European Journal of Pain, researchers studied CBD (cannabidiol) – one of the main ingredients found in marijuana. They found CBD to be effective in reducing arthritic inflammation and arthritic pain in laboratory rats, when applied transdermally – through a CBD gel applied to the skin.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the two main ingredients found in recreational and medical cannabis. It’s also the main cannabinoid found in hemp. It is not considered to be psycho-active, so it does not impair one’s thinking or get you high. CBD is not considered to be addictive and has few known side-effects.
One little known fact about CBD is that it is not readily absorbed by the body. Due to a process known as the hepatic first pass effect, the vast majority (~90%+) of any CBD that makes it to your gastrointestinal tract is quickly broken down into metabolites, processed and never actually reaches your blood stream.
“Over 90% of any CBD that you digest in your GI tract has NO EFFECT on your body, because it is completely broken down by your liver during digestion.” -Erik Muenker DC
Without reaching your blood stream, CBD can’t do you or your arthritis any good.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of two principle cannabinoids found in marijuana and hemp plants. It has well documented neuroprotective, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory applications. It is non-psychoactive, has few known side-effects, and is well tolerated by the young, elderly and all those in between.
CBD preparations are marketed as both a nutraceutical (e.g. CBD oil extracts, transdermal gels, vape concentrates, edibles, etc.) and as a prescription-only pharmaceutical (e.g. Epidiolex, see below for more).
A flurry of new scientific research into CBD therapeutics is showing extremely promising results. CBD is lining up to be the “next big thing” in the Health and Wellness Industry. The CBD market for 2015 was estimated at $202 million.
The Hemp Business Journal just released a report forecasting that the consumer CBD market will grow to $2.1 billion in sales by 2020!GreenWave Advisors, an independent research and financial analysis firm, is even more bullish and projects a $3 billion CBD market by 2021!
CBD legalization is here
CBD-only preparations (hemp based CBD extracts) are legal for purchase online in the majority of states in the U.S. 15 states explicitly allow for the sale of CBD-only products, with an additional 28 states where CBD extracts are also available thru regulated medical or recreational dispensaries.
Click here, to learn more about the 2016 election results and what it all means to the future of the cannabis industry and the CBD market.
CBD as a Medicine
CBDs effectiveness in treating severe forms of epilepsy is also well documented. Although still in early clinical trials, CBD preparations are saving the lives of children with severe early-onset, life-threatenting forms of epilepsy such as Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
GW Pharmaceuticals, a UK based company focused on cannabis plant-derived therapeutics, is quickly making a name for itself as a leading manufacturer of a pharmaceutical gradecannabidiol extract – Epidiolex. Epidiolex is currently under-going FDA approved clinical trials and the results are more than promising. Early reports point to a potential 50% – 75% reduction in the occurrence of seizures.
Click this link for a summary of the most recent physician reported data that was presented to the American Epilepsy Society at their annual meeting in December 2015. More information is available at GWpharma.com.
Learn more about CBD with this CBD 101 – A CBD Business Blog Exclusive New research suggests that high doses of CBD could have anti-cancer properties and may one day be part of a wholistic anti-cancer regiment. But don’t let the FDA hear you say that. Big pharma still owns the market on FDA approved cancer treatments. As a result, you won’t see many CBD oil/extract manufacturers advertising medical benefits for their (highly effective) products.
President-elect Donald Trump’s hard-right pick of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General has marijuana advocates across the nation sounding the alarm – and for good reason.
Just two weeks ago today, Americans in four states (California, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts) joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska by passing ground-breaking legislation to end marijuana prohibition and instead put in place a regulatory system to provide recreational access to marijuana for adults over the age of 21. There are now a total of eight states in the U.S. with legal recreational marijuana.
Video: CBS News reports on the Trump pick for Attorney General
All this progress could be undone by one man – Senator Jeff Sessions, should he become the next Attorney General of the United States. As Attorney General, Mr. Sessions could rescind two key Justice Department directives. These directives, known as the Cole and Ogden memos, told federal investigators to lay off medical marijuana (learn more at Simple Justice – A Criminal Defense Blog) and step back from prosecutions.
According to the New York Times and John Hudak of the Brookings Institution:
The only person that could stop a newly appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions – from dismantling medical and recreational marijuana laws across this country – is, well, President-elect Trump.
Throughout Mr. Sessions’ 19 years in the Senate, he has been a rabid opponent of any legislation that smacks of drug reform. Senator Sessions is an outspoken opponent of medical marijuana, denying cannabis possesses any medical value – despite the voluminous evidence to the contrary. Learn more about the War on Drugs with this interesting and fact filled infographic and dig into the details on Vox.com.
Senator Sessions was even described as a militant prohibitionist by NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri in his recent blog post about the Sessions pick.
April 5th, 2016 – Senate Hearing with Jeff Sessions discussing his views on Marijuana.
Let’s take a listen to our possible future Attorney General.
U.S. Senate Hearing – April 5th, 2016 | Senator Jeff Sessions
Skip forward to 8min 45 sec into the video (8:45) and hear the now famous line from Senator Sessions: “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
The nation’s leading organization advocating an end to the war on drugs, the Drug Policy Alliance (drugpolicy.org), believes marijuana prohibition inflicts far more harm than good on a society and strongly resists a return to the Reagan-era drug policies.
The DPA has even started a “Stop the Jeff Sessions Nomination” petition, as they fear Sessions will not only go after the legal recreational marijuana in Alaska, California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine and D.C., but also look to squash medical marijuana now available in half the states in the U.S.