Despite the dramatic shift in opinion about cannabis in America, Kentucky law enforcement agents continued to charge people with cannabis-related charges at a steady rate, in tandem with offenses across the board. According to analysis of the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) data, more than 300,000 people in Kentucky have been charged with a cannabis-related crime over the past two decades. That’s nearly two people every hour, every day between June 2002 and July 2022, the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy wrote.… Read more.
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President Joe Biden is again touting his mass marijuana pardon from last year, referencing the act of clemency at a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards ceremony. “I’m keeping my promise that no one—no one—should be in jail merely for the use or possession of marijuana. God Almighty,” the president exclaimed. “And those who are in jail, they’re going to be released and the records are going to be expunged.” The speech at the event with Black lawmakers is just the… Read more.
Online marijuana dispensary finder and lifestyle website Leafly (Nasdaq: LFLY) won a temporary legal victory over New York cannabis advertising restrictions, when a state judge issued an order blocking the enforcement of the prohibitions. The lawsuit, filed earlier this week by Seattle-based Leafly, New York’s Stage One Dispensary, and a consumer, “alleges that New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) unfairly targeted so-called ‘third-party platforms’ in a misguided attempt to restrict the manner in which retailers may market or promote their business… Read more.
A group in Oregon wants to make drug possession a crime again, having unveiled two versions of a would-be ballot initiative that would undo key provisions of Measure 110, the 2020 voter-approved measure that decriminalized simple possession of all drugs. The proposal—which backers say they’ll pursue both through the state legislature and at the ballot box, if necessary—would make it a misdemeanor crime to possess certain “hard” drugs, including fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and others. It would also create a… Read more.
New York marijuana regulators have spent nearly the past month trying to convince a state judge to allow a handful of conditional adult use retail dispensary (CAURD) licensees to open for business, but as of Friday, nothing the state tried had yet worked, which leaves the Empire State with just 23 operational legal cannabis shops for the foreseeable future. When Judge Kevin Bryant handed down a preliminary injunction last month that froze all retail permitting, he also tried to be flexible with… Read more.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has begun issuing formal certificates to individuals whose convictions for marijuana possession were covered under President Joe Biden’s (D) mass cannabis pardon last October. The documents are intended to allow people to demonstrate that they were granted clemency, which could help avoid obstacles to housing, employment, education and child custody caused by a federal criminal conviction. Although neither DOJ nor the Office of the Pardon Attorney has announced the issuance of the certificates, at least some applicants… Read more.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that the odor of marijuana, on its own, does not establish probable cause for police officers to search a car. The ruling came in the case of a 2021 traffic stop in Meeker County where Adam Torgerson was pulled over by Litchfield police for having too many auxiliary lights on his vehicle’s grill. The officer claimed he smelled marijuana coming out of the open vehicle window. Torgerson, who was driving with his wife and… Read more.
A recent ruling by a federal judge has raised questions within the industry: Has this judge effectively legalized hemp-derived cannabinoids such as HHC, Delta-8 THC, THCa, and THCP flower? In summary, the judge in Arkansas determined that the 2018 Farm Bill holds greater legal authority than a state ban on hemp-derived cannabinoids, potentially setting a precedent for future legal actions in other states. The U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson, on Thursday, issued a ruling to halt the enforcement of Act 629 of 2023, a law enacted during… Read more.
The Justice Department is defending the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) decision to fire an “outstanding” special agent after 16 years of service because he tested positive for THC after taking a CBD product for pain that he said he believed to be legal hemp. That agent, Anthony Armour, filed a lawsuit against DEA in May, seeking a reversal of the termination on several grounds, including a lack of “substantial evidence” that he used an illegal drug, as well as mitigating factors such… Read more.
California is suing several hemp brands throughout the U.S. claiming violations of the state’s Proposition 65 rules, which require products “known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity” to carry a “clear and reasonable” warning label. Although the 2018 Farm Bill effectively legalized hemp containing 0.3% THC or less at the federal level, in California’s legal system, delta-9 THC is considered a chemical “known to cause harm to the developing fetus” and having any amount present makes a product… Read more.
The lawyer for a Detroit-area businessman who pleaded guilty to bribing a top marijuana regulator is disputing a recommended prison sentence range and asking that a federal judge give John Dawood Dalaly a lighter punishment regardless. In a motion filed Wednesday, Raymond Cassar contended that the correct guideline range is 24 to 30 months in prison, not 37 to 46 months as calculated by the probation department. Prosecutors are seeking 30 to 37 months to account for his cooperation in the investigation… Read more.
In 1988, a federal judge brashly ruled against the Reagan administration’s drug policy and declared cannabis fit for medical use. The controversial decision nearly reclassified marijuana under the Controlled Substance Act. September 6, 2023 marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young’s historic ruling and recommendation to reschedule cannabis. Young’s 68-page opinion stating the plant should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II was based on two years of review followed by… Read more.
The Missouri medical cannabis company that had nearly 63,000 products recalled last month lost its bid to stop the recall after a Cole County Circuit judge on Thursday dismissed the case, KMIZ reports. The judge ruled that Delta Extraction, LLC did not exhaust administrative remedies and that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the complaint. The Missouri Division of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) had issued the recall because the products were not tracked by the state’s seed-to-sale-tracking system, METRC, and that the agency could… Read more.
Over the last two years, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) has shut down more than 800 unlawful cannabis farms operating under the guise of the state’s medical cannabis law, KFOR reports. The crackdowns have led to more than 200 arrests and the seizure of nearly 7,000 pounds of cannabis. Mark Woodward, spokesman for OBN, told KFOR that the agency’s enforcement actions are focused on “out-of-state” illegal operations that allegedly have ties to international crime networks, including groups from Russia, Bulgaria, Armenia, and Serbia.… Read more.
When Arizona set out to legalize marijuana, backers emphasized their intent to make the program equitable and ensure that those who had been most hurt by cannabis criminalization were given priority in the new marketplace. Now, a new lawsuit is raising questions about whether the state is adequately meeting those equity goals. Of 26 business licenses that the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) awarded last year to social equity applicants, nearly all are now owned by other companies or… Read more.
A Pennsylvania judge has ordered the dissolution of a heavily indebted, state-licensed medical marijuana company that was once part of former chewing-gum magnate William “Beau” Wrigley Jr.’s fledgling cannabis empire. Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christine Ward issued the dissolution of Goodblend Pennsylvania on Aug. 21, according to Green Market Report. The judge’s order, first reported by Law360, is the latest marijuana-sector setback for Wrigley and his former company. Wrigley took over as the CEO of Florida-based cannabis company Surterra Wellness in 2018. Rebranded… Read more.
Celebrities don't get arrested for marijuana like they used to. These days celeb weed busts mostly happen in states that have yet to legalize cannabis for adult or medical use. Case in point: Dallas Cowboys' troubled defensive lineman Sam Williams who on August 20 was charged with possession of a controlled substance (cannabis) and the unlawful carrying of a weapon in Frisco, TX. Texas is a fully prohibited state (only CBD is legal). It's unclear how the arrest went down, though it most likely was… Read more.
Et tu, counselor? That might have been the thought running through the mind of Elliot Lewis, chief executive officer of Catalyst Cannabis, when he filed a motion to disqualify counsel for Glass House, the opposing party in 562 Discount Med. Inc. v. Glass House Brands. It’s an action Lewis filed in June, accusing his competitor of fraudulent business practices and unfair competition in violation of California’s Business and Professions Code §§17200. In the motion to disqualify, 526 Discount Med asserts Venable LLP, a… Read more.
As Ohio voters prepare to decide on a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot, only about one in 10 Ohio prosecutors say they’re likely to take advantage of a separate recently enacted law that allows them to independently seal the records of people with low-level drug convictions—and most of those say they’d focus on cannabis-related offenses—according to a new study. Researchers at Ohio State University surveyed 86 municipal prosecutors this year to better understand the practical impact of the reform, which… Read more.
A legal case has been initiated against the Stamford Zoning Board, aiming to exert control over Connecticut's emerging cannabis sector. In addition to addressing city-specific regulations, the lawsuit, which portrays the state's Social Equity Council as a questionable initiative, holds the potential for far-reaching implications across the state. By contesting the law that legalizes the possession and commercial trade of cannabis in Connecticut, the lawsuit argues that this law runs afoul of the federal Controlled Substances Act. Legal Challenge Against Stamford Zoning… Read more.
A Philadelphia nonprofit is urging a federal court to deny the Justice Department’s recent motion to dismiss a lawsuit over the establishment of a safe drug consumption site. DOJ first blocked Safehouse from opening the overdose prevention center under the Trump administration. Supporters hoped the department would cede the issue under President Joe Biden, who has promoted harm reduction policies as an alternative to criminalization, but so far they’ve been disappointed. The Justice Department made its position clear last month,… Read more.
If there were any lingering questions about the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) position on the scheduling status of delta-8 THC, an attorney recently dug up an email from a top official that makes it perfectly clear: when synthesized from legal CBD, the agency considers delta-8 THC to be a prohibited controlled substance. The market for delta-8 products has expanded rapidly in recent years following the federal legalization of hemp and its naturally extracted derivatives like CBD. The intoxicating cannabinoid is… Read more.
Nebraska law enforcement is investigating sales of hemp-derived cannabis products containing more than 0.3% THC. Most recently, authorities in Lincoln seized products, paraphernalia and financial records from five stores that previously failed compliance checks earlier this year for testing. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office joined forces with six law enforcement agencies in southeast Nebraska and allegedly bought products containing more than 5% THC from stores in recent months. Store owners and staff caught up in the… Read more.
After testing positive for THC in a drug test, a police officer in Jersey City, New Jersey, faced dismissal. However, in a recent development, the officer, Norhan Mansour, has been reinstated to his position, complete with retroactive pay. Notably, this incident occurred well after Gov. Phil Murphy had signed a bill legalizing adult-use cannabis in New Jersey back in 2021, paving the way for sales to commence in April 2022. Following the bill's enactment, the Jersey City Police Department made it clear that… Read more.
Whenever a legal cannabis market is about to roll out in this country—it doesn’t matter which state—law enforcement starts getting squirrely. In their anxious minds, legal weed means that the roadways of their respective state are about to become a veritable hazard zone full of evil, reckless stoners, all red-eyed, laughing uncontrollably, on a dope-addled mission to slaughter as many women and children as humanly possible before the smoke clears. That’s why, in the weeks leading up to the day… Read more.
A Florida beach became the location of an enigmatic discovery – a lost treasure. Neptune Beach, situated in the northeastern part of the state near Jacksonville, witnessed an intriguing incident. The local police reported that on Saturday morning, they responded to the presence of a considerable quantity of marijuana that had washed ashore. According to the Neptune Beach Police Department's Facebook post, a significant stash of marijuana likely ruptured at sea and scattered before reaching the beach. In response to this… Read more.
Dr. Steven Stokes, the chair of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC), resigned from the commission Thursday morning. Stokes, an oncologist who had served as chair since 2021, said in an interview Thursday afternoon that he resigned to prevent the commission and the medical cannabis approval process from being tied up in a lawsuit alleging that his appointment to the commission violated state law. “If I did not step aside, then that process would probably be stopped until my issue was… Read more.
A large Michigan cannabis development site is up for sale as Pontiac and the property’s developer battle in a federal court case. The battle marks an apparent end for a $40 million development plan that aimed to remake a derelict old Kmart site into a site for marijuana business and other retail. And the legal battle has expanded to include allegations of bribery by the city’s current administration against previous officials, including a former mayor. Rubicon Real Estate Holdings LLC,… Read more.
The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department on Tuesday filed a petition seeking a preliminary injunction against Sawmill Sweet Leaf, LLC, alleging the company has been diverting cannabis out of state and manufacturing cannabis concentrate without a permit. In a statement, Linda Trujillo, superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department, said “A key component of compliance actions is the ability to suspend licenses immediately if they pose an instant threat to the health, safety and lives of consumers.” Regulators are accusing Sawmill Sweet… Read more.
Canada’s federal government could face legal consequences for failing to facilitate research on potential health issues experienced by cannabis smokers, according to the former chair of the task force that laid the groundwork for recreational legalization in the country. Anne McLellan, a former law professor at the University of Alberta, told The Globe and Mail newspaper the Canadian government could “potentially” face a class action lawsuit. The federal health minister from 2002 to 2003, McLellan told the Toronto-based newspaper that any lawsuits… Read more.
The movement to legalize marijuana has gained significant ground in the US over the past decade, with more than half the nation now allowing cannabis for either medicinal or adult use. If that means anything, it’s that there’s a heck of a lot of people out there taking full advantage of their legal right to partake in a plant that’s historically known to cause trouble with the law. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly live-and-let-live yet in legal states. Although fewer people… Read more.
MMJ International Holdings Corp is preparing a lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) claiming the agency is violating the law by not responding to its application to grow pharmaceutical cannabis to support its research. MMJ, which has two Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational drug applications to research its developed soft gelatin capsule in clinical trials for multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease, filed its application nearly five years ago. MMJ alleges that the DEA’s inaction on its application is in violation of the Controlled… Read more.
Marijuana legalization has become a divisive issue in the United States, sparking debate about how it would affect numerous elements of society. Opponents are concerned about increased driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) instances. However, a recent RTI International study provides unique insights on this subject. The study examined self-reported DUIC data and discovered that states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes have a lower rate of driving within three hours after using the drug than… Read more.
The judge based the amount on tobacco case settlements. Grow, LLC also known as KD Inc. and The Kratom Distro, and Sean Michael Harder were ordered to pay $4.6 million in economic and $7 million in non-economic damages to the family of Krystal Talavera, who died in 2021 after ingesting kratom. Law360 reported that the judge felt the original request of $20 million was too high and instead based his decision on previous tobacco cases. “There is no doubt that this… Read more.
The photographer is asking for legal fees and damages - to be determined by the court - to be covered. The online dispensary locator app Leafly (OTC: LFLY) is in hot water for using a photographer’s images of rappers Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg. Photographer T. Eric Monroe, whose work has been featured in publications such as Thrasher and XXL Magazine, claims Leafly Holdings unlawfully published and displayed Monroe’s original photography on its website leafly.com. In addition to helping consumers locate dispensaries, Leafly offers… Read more.
The state cannabis control division announced on Thursday that a marijuana retailer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, had its license revoked. The reason behind this action was the retailer's violation of state law by selling out-of-state cannabis. According to regulators, the Paradise Exotics Distro cannabis store, located on a central shopping thoroughfare, was allegedly selling cannabis products that were imported from California and labelled with a California stamp of origin. At the time of the announcement, business representatives were unavailable for… Read more.
More Cookies investors have sued the cannabis industry darling, claiming the prominent California-based marijuana brand mismanaged their $15.5 million through “multimillion dollar kickbacks and other self-dealing” that benefited company founders at investors’ expense, court documents filed this week show. But what could be a more troubling sign for Cookies as well as the struggling marijuana industry, Cookies allegedly ran out of money last summer when it missed a key valuation and then “burned through most of” an additional $23 million… Read more.
According to a report from Rock Island, Illinois police, Julie Devinney, an employee in the cannabis industry, tragically passed away on Friday morning at a Green Thumb Industries' (OTCQX: GTBIF) facility. The police report, authored by Officer Austin Frankenreider and obtained by WeedWeek, provided additional insights into the incident. First reported by Weedweek, the death left many stunned. Devinney's supervisor, Amy Hermiston, informed the police that Julie had been experiencing breathing difficulties for some time. She had to leave work early… Read more.
The number of people in federal prison for a cannabis-related offense dropped 61% over a five-year period, according to a new report from the Department of Justice. The number of inmates imprisoned for all drug offenses fell by 24%, the report from the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found, with those incarcerated for a cannabis offense showing the steepest decline of prisoners in the federal penal system held for a drug-related offense. Despite the drop, however, Dr. Alexis Piquero, director… Read more.
Amid a pending lawsuit and serious allegations of funds misappropriation, Canadian producer iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (CSE: IAN) (OTCPK: ITHUF) has appointed Richard Proud as its new chief executive officer and director on the board of directors. The announcement comes in the wake of accusations by a Maryland-based cannabis dispensary, and in a RICO lawsuit filed last month, LMS Wellness Benefit LLC. alleges that iAnthus diverted at least $4.5 million of its funds into iAnthus’s other business interests. According to court documents, a… Read more.
State tax agents backed up by New York City cops arrived at two Manhattan outlets of the Empire Cannabis Clubs on July 11, seizing a large amount of product at one location and making arrests at both. But the arrests were just for “obstruction” of the raids, which were themselves carried out without warrants. This represents a first move toward legal action against Empire Cannabis Clubs, the most professional and high-profile of the city’s membership-based dispensaries. Empire Cannabis insists they are… Read more.
The number of people in federal prison over marijuana dropped 61 percent from 2013 to 2018—a greater reduction than any other drug type—as the first states enacted legalization, according to a new report from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Overall, the federal prison system saw the number of people incarcerated over drugs decrease by 24 percent during that time period. However, as BJS Director Alexis Piquero pointed out in a press release on Thursday that prisoners of… Read more.
In Northern California’s Trinity County—inland from Humboldt and more rugged—a recent brutal police raid on cannabis farmers at a local homestead provides an all too vivid example of what the stakes are when the legal sector fails small operators. Racist Raids in Trinity County?On May 2, Trinity sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant in the Trinity Pines community near the town of Hayfork. The Sheriff’s Office said over 16,000 plants were seized in the operation, along with 7,500 pounds of… Read more.
Leslie Van Houten was one of Charles Manson's hippie chicks who'd abandoned mainstream society and became part of his "Family" in the late '60s. Now she's free from prison on parole 54 years after participating in the shocking Los Angeles murder spree that left seven people dead in 1969. According to one news report, "She was a 19-year-old acid-head when Manson brainwashed her." Born on Aug. 23, 1949 in Altadena, California, a Los Angeles suburb, Van Houten was "not averse to mischief and adventure, though, she… Read more.
New York Police Department officers and state tax agents raided several illicit dispensaries in Manhattan this week, following through on Governor Kathy Hochul’s promise to levy hefty fines and shut down unlicensed operators. The state’s latest crackdown focused on Empire Cannabis Club, a so-called concierge service with locations in Chelsea and the Lower East Side. Billing themselves as private clubs that provide dues-paying members with access to cannabis products, Empire’s five stores are among the most visible and flagrant licensure… Read more.
Maryland is making significant progress in cannabis reform and preparation for implementing adult-use marijuana legalisation. As the state gears up for the forthcoming changes, a bill preventing police from using the odour or possession of cannabis alone as the basis for a search has been allowed to become law by the governor. This move marks a crucial step in protecting individuals' rights and addressing concerns regarding unwarranted searches solely based on the presence of cannabis. Along with this development, Maryland has… Read more.
At least a dozen California cannabis businesses that signed required agreements with a labor union now deemed illegitimate – including collapsed distribution giant Herbl – are at risk of losing their licenses, state regulators said Monday. California law requires marijuana businesses to sign a labor peace agreement with a “bona fide” labor organization before they are issued a state license. But in an apparent effort to flout worker-friendly marijuana legalization laws and benefit businesses seeking labor cost savings, cannabis businesses across the… Read more.
The makers of the popular marijuana strain Zkittlez, which borrowed its name from a trademark owned by confectioner Wrigley, will discontinue the product line after bowing to legal pressure from the candy giant. In a settlement proposed on June 28, Mendocino County, California-based Terphogz agreed to stop using names, websites and advertising slogans that too closely resemble what Wrigley uses to sell its Skittles candy. The Wrigley Co., headquartered in Chicago, is a subsidiary of Mars Wrigley. Representatives of Wrigley and Terphogz… Read more.
With Maryland’s adult-use cannabis law going into effect last week, the number of legal states has grown to 24. This containing wave of legalization has sparked an ever-increasing interest among travelers who wish to bring their cannabis on a plane to their destinations. And the stats are clear: The burning questions asked to Google include “Can you take weed on a plane,” which is up by 204% and “Bring CBD on a plane,” which is up by a whopping 374%.… Read more.
A lawsuit has been filed in Oklahoma challenging the new law that increases fees for medical cannabis businesses in the state, KFOR reports. The law, intended to crack down on illegal medical cannabis operators in the state, took effect last month and created a tired fee schedule for industry operators from $2,500 to $50,000. Jed Green, a cannabis advocate and plaintiff on the lawsuit, told KFOR the law “is hitting the good guys and it’s only helping the bad guys.” A lawsuit… Read more.
California courts have sealed, resentenced or dismissed about 90 percent of eligible marijuana convictions for activity that was legalized under a 2016 voter-approved initiative, a new report from the state attorney general’s office shows. As of April 6, the state’s judicial system has processed relief for 206,052 of out an estimated 227,650 cannabis cases that were identified as eligible following the passage of records reform legislation that the governor signed in 2018. The new report, released last month by Attorney… Read more.
California industrial agriculture firm and investor Roots Properties has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against a pair of cannabis companies that it said undermined a six-figure loan agreement through “intentional sabotage” of their own grow operation, from which 90% of the profits were supposed to go to Roots. According to the lawsuit, Island View Ranch LLC and Island Breeze Farms LLC struck an investment deal with Roots Properties for $400,000 in loans and another $350,000 line of credit, from… Read more.
A dispute between California cannabis competitors has resulted in dueling lawsuits containing extraordinary allegations of black marketeering and reckless disregard for the truth. In a complaint filed June 20 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Glass House Brands Inc. claims Long Beach-based Catalyst Cannabis Co and two of the company’s principals defamed Glass House by alleging the company is “the biggest black marketeer in American history,” among other unsavory accusations. Catalyst, under the company name 562 Discount Med Inc., filed an… Read more.
Minnesota’s Supreme Court is looking for a designee to sit on a marijuana expungements board that is being created under the state’s new legalization law. In a public notice that was posted on Wednesday, the court described the composition and responsibilities of the Cannabis Expungement Board, which will facilitate record sealing for people with eligible marijuana convictions on their records. After the cases are identified by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), the board will need to review them to… Read more.
A Florida appeals court on Wednesday upheld the firing of a Department of Corrections officer for using medical cannabis, WOKV reports. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court cited federal law and a job requirement that officers are able to use firearms. The case was brought by Samuel Velez Ortiz, a former sergeant for the Department of Corrections who was approved by a physician to use medical cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder related to previous military service. Velez Ortiz had… Read more.
According to a lawsuit reported by Green Market Report, Glass House Brands Inc., operating under the name Catalyst, a California cannabis company based in Long Beach, has been accused of unlawfully transporting and shipping cannabis across state lines on airplanes. On June 6, Catalyst filed a lawsuit against Glass House in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleging that Glass House is profiting from the illegal cannabis market in California, undermining the legal market and businesses that adhere to regulations. The… Read more.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration and its law enforcement partners arrested fewer people for cannabis-related offenses in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to annual data from the federal agency. The DEA also seized nearly 6 million cannabis plants from illicit marijuana grows across the country last year, slightly more than the number of illegal cannabis plants seized by federal law enforcement officers in 2021. According to the DEA’s yearly Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program Statistical Report, the agency and… Read more.
Two lawsuits in Montana are challenging Gov. Greg Gianforte’s veto of a bill that would have used cannabis taxes as a supplement to county road maintenance funding, the Great Falls Tribune reports. The lawsuits, filed by the Montana Association of Counties (MACo) and the Montana Wildlife Federation, allege the governor violated the state’s constitution by waiting until after the state Senate session ended before submitting his veto of the legislation. The lawsuits also name Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen as a… Read more.
Online cannabis platform Leafly recently removed two in-depth articles investigating the death of cannabis worker Lorna McMurrey, 27, who passed away after collapsing during her shift at a Trulieve cannabis factory in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Mike Crawford, the host of The Young Jurks podcast in Massachusetts, which broke the news of McMurrey’s death, first posted about the articles’ removal last week on LinkedIn. Leafly, which closed down its newsroom in March after reporting financial difficulties, offered no explanation for why the stories were pulled,… Read more.
Federal criminal investigators in late May sent subpoenas to five Oregon agencies for records concerning former Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and the owners of cannabis company La Mota, Aaron Mitchell and Rosa Cazares, whom Fagan worked for as a private consultant, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. Fagan stepped down from her government role on May 8 after it was discovered that she had taken the consultant role and her office had prepared an audit of state cannabis regulations that was viewed as favorable to cannabis companies. … Read more.
How effective the latest effort will be remains to be seen. “It’s about time.” That was the first reaction that Green Market Report received on Friday after news broke the prior afternoon that New York officials had begun a hotly anticipated crackdown on unlicensed marijuana sellers. The attorney who wrote the words, New York City-based cannabis lawyer Jeffrey Hoffman, said the only surprise was that it took authorities until the summer of 2023 to get started on shuttering the unlicensed smoke shops. Hoffman was… Read more.
Women Wins Lawsuit over Marijuana Odor - Judges Cites Private Nuisance Clause In a recent ruling, Judge Ebony Scott of Washington D.C. determined that Thomas Cackett must cease smoking medical marijuana in his apartment due to complaints from his neighbor, Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd. The judge concluded that while Ippolito-Shepherd couldn't establish her right to damages, she successfully argued that the odor of marijuana constituted a private nuisance. Consequently, Judge Scott ordered Cackett to discontinue his smoking activities, emphasizing that although he holds… Read more.
Dozens of complaints have been filed with the NLRB against cannabis companies. Organized labor has been increasingly flexing its legal and political muscle in the American cannabis sector. The most visible representation of the situation came just last month, when workers organized by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters went on a nearly two-week strike at several facilities in Illinois owned by multistate operator Green Thumb Industries. Though the strike ended, the company still must deal with 10 unfair labor practice complaints the… Read more.
A Washington, D.C. judge on Monday ordered a man who smokes medical cannabis in his apartment to stop following a neighbor’s complaint that the odor caused a nuisance in her apartment, the Washington Post reports. Judge Ebony Scott ruled that Thomas Cackett has a license to purchase cannabis but “does not possess a license to disrupt the full use and enjoyment of one’s land.” In the ruling, Scott determined, however, that the defendant, Josefa Ippolito-Sheperd, could not prove she was entitled to… Read more.
Democratic Governor Jared Polis has signed legislation to allow online cannabis sales, although consumers will be required to pick up their purchases at a licensed dispensary in person. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis last week signed legislation to legalize online cannabis sales, ending the prohibition on internet shopping enacted following passage of the state’s landmark 2012 ballot measure that legalized adult-use cannabis. The measure, House Bill 1279, which was signed by the governor on June 1 after being passed by Colorado… Read more.
Following the legalization of cannabis in Minnesota, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) clarified that cannabis consumers are still “federally defined as an ‘unlawful user’ of a controlled substance” and therefore “prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition.” In February, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled that the federal law barring people who use cannabis from owning firearms is unconstitutional. That decision is under appeal. In April, a federal judge in Texas made a similar ruling, and referenced the blanket… Read more.
Regulators revoked the manufacturing and cultivation permits, but allowed Harmony to keep its retail license. A vertically integrated New Jersey cannabis company had several of its business licenses yanked this week by regulators, who said the revocations were due to $700,000 in unpaid permit fees. According to NJBiz.com, the state Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to revoke Harmony Foundation’s recreational permits for cultivation and manufacturing that were just granted in December, saying that state fees for those permits… Read more.
The Arizona Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that some convictions for cannabis sales are eligible for expungement under the state’s adult-use cannabis legalization law, AZ Mirror reports. In the unanimous opinion, Judge Brian Furuya reversed a previous ruling from a Maricopa County Superior Court judge that denied expungement of a man’s 2014 cannabis sales conviction. The appellate court order forces the trial court to grant the expungement petition. The appellate judges concluded that, because transportation of cannabis is now eligible for expungement, and because transportation of cannabis for… Read more.
Thirteen cannabis delivery service providers in central Illinois filed a complaint against state regulators, alleging that they are allowing unlicensed operators to transport product. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the Circuit Court of Sangamon County, claims the Illinois Department of Agriculture and its director, Jerry Costello, are not enforcing provisions laid out in the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, or CRTA, which paved the way for the state’s adult-use sales program that launched in January 2020. Among the plaintiffs’ complaints: The agriculture… Read more.
A U.S. magistrate judge has thrown out the class action lawsuit filed by landowners in Humboldt County, California who claimed the county fined them hundreds of thousands of dollars – without an investigation or opportunity to defend themselves – for allegedly cultivating cannabis without a permit, Courthouse News reports. The five landowners filed the lawsuit in October 2022. U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Illman dismissed the lawsuit in full and did not give the plaintiffs leave to amend. The plaintiffs claimed after California legalized… Read more.
A recent federal ruling indicates cannabis accessory manufacturers seeking trademark protection will need to show their products’ value to tobacco users. In a precedent-setting decision first reported by Law360, the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) upheld the rejection of a 2017 application submitted by the National Concessions Group, owned by Canadian company Slang Worldwide Inc. The application sought to trademark the brand name “Bakked” for marketing a dab tool or, as the application stated, an… Read more.
Parties exchanged legal barbs over religious freedom and the Controlled Substances Act. A U.S. federal judge ruled that a lawsuit by an Arizona religious group seeking legal approval to use a hallucinogenic tea in its rituals can proceed. The Arizona Yage Assembly claims the federal government seized four shipments of ayahuasca tea, which contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT), from Peru. DMT is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under U.S. law, making it generally illegal to manufacture, distribute, or possess. According… Read more.
A Boston family’s address has been used as part of a cannabis delivery scam for which perpetrators created a fake business, known as Starlight Greens Delivery Dispensary, and collected money from would-be customers but delivered no product, WCVB reports. Denise King, the Boston homeowner, said several people have shown up at her home seeking an order they placed through the website – but Starlight does not exist in the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission database. King noted that the Starlight Greens website had no telephone… Read more.
After breaching regulations and losing some employees, the owner of an Athol dispensary threatened his former staff in a video on Instagram. In response, state officials have taken action and suspended the dispensary's license. In the video, the owner made a menacing statement, warning that he would resort to violence if anyone dared to interfere with his business. Following a threatening video posted by owner Oluwaseun Adedeji on his Instagram account, Elev8, an Athol dispensary, had its license suspended by… Read more.
The indictment notes that the couple had little possibility of obtaining necessary permits. A married couple from a small town in the far interior of Alaska has been charged with wire fraud in connection with a sham marijuana tourism business that they never intended to launch, federal prosecutors said in a recently unsealed indictment. The pair allegedly bilked 22 investors out of $722,000. Brian and Candy Corty from Delta Junction, Alaska, were indicted by a federal grand jury in April, the Anchorage… Read more.
Days after the Texas House of Representatives passed a marijuana decriminalization bill that is now pending in the Senate, voters in two cities in the state will head to the polls on Saturday to decide on two related local ballot measures. San Antonio voters will consider a broad justice-reform initiative that includes provisions to decriminalize cannabis, and Harker Heights residents will have the chance to overturn their local government’s repeal of an earlier decriminalization measure they passed. The San Antonio proposal asks… Read more.
Governor Kathy Hochul signed new legislation Wednesday in an attempt to curb the unlicensed and illicit sale of cannabis across New York State. The legislation allows the Office of Cannabis Management and the Department of Taxation and Finance to assess civil penalties against unlicensed cannabis businesses with fines of up to $20,000 a day and makes it a crime to sell cannabis and cannabis products without a license. In addition, the Office of Cannabis Management's ability to conduct regulatory inspections… Read more.
In this week’s cannabis round-up, Singapore executes Tangaraju Suppiah for cannabis delivery; Delaware legalizes adult use cannabis in an unusual way; Colorado announces new funding opportunities for cannabis businesses; put your best foot forward in CBD sneakers and record sales reported for this year’s 420. Singapore Executes Man Accused of Cannabis Trafficking Even though he wasn’t found in possession of any cannabis, Singapore has executed a man accused of organizing a cannabis delivery. In 2018, the 46-year-old Tangaraju Suppiah received… Read more.
The Texas House last week passed a cannabis decriminalization bill that would reduce penalties for possession of up to an ounce of flower or concentrates to a Class C misdemeanor, KXAN reports. Despite the reduced charge, however, possession penalties could still include a hefty $500 fine. Under current state law, such possession would be considered a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Possession of four ounces or more is considered… Read more.
The legal controversy swirling around prominent cannabis brand Cookies has taken an abrupt and unusual turn, with one of the litigants who sued the company earlier this year dropping a lawsuit and walking back sworn statements made in court. In a lawsuit and subsequent filings in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Paul Rock, CEO of a Florida-based company called Cookies Retail Products, claimed that Cookies executives tried to “sabotage” a multimillion-dollar deal in which CRP would license the Cookies brand and sell… Read more.
Canadian marijuana operator Organigram Holdings is asking a federal court to quash a Health Canada decision that the company’s popular ingestible cannabis lozenges should be classified and regulated as edibles instead of extracts. The legal challenge could have broader implications for Canada’s regulated cannabis sector and affect millions of dollars in sales of high-potency lozenges and similar products. Toronto-headquartered Organigram is seeking an application for judicial review. In Canada, such reviews give stakeholders, including companies, the opportunity to challenge decisions by government authorities, explained… Read more.
Michigan’s largest marijuana testing lab is continuing its legal assault on state regulators, alleging in a new motion in court that regulators are withholding evidence stemming from a 2021 recall. Bay City-based Viridis North LLC and the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency have been wrapped up in litigation for two years over the recall of products tested by the lab. The state agency alleged Viridis’ testing results on 64,000 pounds of marijuana product contained “inaccurate and/or unreliable results.” The value of… Read more.
The group had already voiced concerns last year as regulators were teeing the rollout. The 125th Street Business District Management Association, a prominent Harlem business coalition, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against New York’s cannabis regulators, contesting the state’s plan to establish a recreational marijuana dispensary on the main artery of the neighborhood. The legal action, filed in the State Supreme Court of Manhattan, asserts that the shop would intensify existing public health issues that the block already struggles with. The proposed… Read more.
The lawsuit names several Cookies employees, including CEO Berner. The leaders of global cannabis brand Cookies have been using threats, violence and financial kickbacks to enrich themselves at the expense of company shareholders, according to a lawsuit filed by two of the company’s investors. The suit, first reported by WeedWeek, was filed by two companies, BR CO I LLC and Nedco I LLC, that together claim to own a 10% stake in California-based Cookies. It was first filed in February,… Read more.
A Michigan businessman last week pleaded guilty to paying bribes to the former head of the state’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board, the Detroit News reports. John Dawood Dalaly admitted to a federal judge that he hired Rick Johnson’s wife, Jan Johnson, as a consultant for $4,000 a month and she helped him fill out forms that would end up in front of the board that her husband chaired. Dalaly also admitted to providing at least $68,200 in cash and other benefits to Johnson, including… Read more.
Four New Jersey police officers are preparing to sue Jersey City after being fired for testing positive for marijuana—despite being protected under the state’s cannabis legalization law and guidance from the state attorney general. The Jersey City officers said that they used cannabis, purchased from licensed dispensaries, while off the job. That activity should be legally protected, as the state Constitution prohibits employers from taking adverse action against workers solely for marijuana activity that’s been made lawful. But Jersey City… Read more.
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is officially backing the decriminalization of all drugs and paraphernalia, earning the praise of drug reform and harm reduction advocates. Members of APhA’s House of Delegates voted to adopted the revised policy late last month, becoming one of the nation’s largest medical associations to endorse broad decriminalization. “APhA supports decriminalization of the personal possession or personal use of illicit drug substances or paraphernalia,” the plank says. However, the association remains opposed to the “legalization of… Read more.
Cannabis businesses face a wide variety of hurdles in getting established and starting operations, many of which can be difficult to navigate without the assistance of a legal expert. Here’s a set of tips and information you’ll want to know to help your company run smoothly. Whether you’re a cultivator, manufacturer, or retail dispensary operator, you can learn more to avoid a loss of insurance and revenue. Insurance blacklists exist A cannabis business owner who does not disclose the existence and… Read more.
A Detroit-area businessman who pleaded guilty Friday to bribing a top medical marijuana regulator in exchange for approval of state dispensary licenses said the payments included $4,000 a month for the official’s wife, who was paid as a “consultant” during the process. John Dalaly, 70, of West Bloomfield Township disclosed the arrangement during questioning from U.S. Magistrate Phillip Green. He said he approached Rick Johnson, who then chaired Michigan’s now-former medical marijuana licensing board, with questions about applying for licenses… Read more.
After several years of an extensive federal investigation, a massive illegal marijuana operation was uncovered in Oklahoma City. The accused allegedly used a counterfeit Amazon delivery vehicle to transport large quantities of marijuana throughout the city. According to federal court records, the documents provided insight into how the perpetrator evaded detection for an extended period. Brandon Ye, the suspect in question, is accused by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of using an Amazon… Read more.
The Texas House of Representatives will vote on a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession and create a process for expunging cannabis conviction records next week. About a month and a half after the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee unanimously passed the legislation, the Calendars Committee has officially scheduled it for floor consideration on Wednesday, April 26. The measure from Rep. Joe Moody (D) would remove the risk of arrest or jail time for low-level possession of cannabis and allow people to eventually erase… Read more.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with the organization’s Ohio chapter, has filed a proposed amicus brief supporting Afroman in a civil lawsuit brought against him by seven police officers who are upset the hip hop artist used footage of their marijuana raid on his home in a music video. Afroman, whose real name is Joseph E. Foreman, was sued last month by members of the Adams County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office who conducted a 2022 search of his house… Read more.
How police officers plan to use the device during simple traffic stops is unclear. A neuro-diagnostic company, Oculogica, said it has launched a pilot program to trial a new roadside cannabis test that supposedly provides immediate results, with a wider release slated toward the end of the year. The binocular-looking device, dubbed OcuPro, detects recent cannabis use and impairment within 60-90 minutes using eye-tracking-based algorithms, the company said, which would be an improvement over current tests that can only detect the general presence of… Read more.
Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) have reintroduced a bipartisan bill to encourage state and local governments to expunge marijuana records in their jurisdictions. The lawmakers filed the Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act on Tuesday, describing it as a necessary and bipartisan reform that would support ongoing clemency efforts. The bill would incentivize states to provide relief to people with non-violent cannabis convictions through federal grants. The Justice Department would run the State Expungement Opportunity Grant… Read more.
Nearly all federal cannabis charges – 98.8% – brought last year were for drug trafficking as federal charges for cannabis comprised just about 4% of all federal drug offenders, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission 2022 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics. The majority of federal drug cases last year were methamphetamine related (48.5%), followed by powder cocaine (17.3%); fentanyl (12.6%); heroin (8.1%); crack cocaine (5.6%); and “other” drugs, which include Oxycodone/Oxycontin (301 cases); MDMA/ecstasy/MDA (72 cases), and synthetic cannabinoids (59 cases.) In… Read more.
Investor Greg Levin alleges he was promised monthly dividends that were never delivered. A new lawsuit accuses cannabis insider Vincent Zadeh of committing a new cannabis fraud scheme. Investor Greg Levin alleges that Vincent Mehdizadeh, who goes by the name Vincent Zadeh, convinced him to invest $290,000 into Pineapple Ventures with promises of a $5,000 monthly dividend payment. The promised payments were never delivered, and Levin was unable to recoup his investment. Levin also claims he was unaware that Zadeh… Read more.
A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas last week found the federal ban on cannabis consumers possessing firearms to be unconstitutional, Marijuana Moment reports. The ruling led to dropped charges against El Paso resident Paola Connelly, who had been convicted of possessing and transferring a firearm in 2021 while being an admitted cannabis consumer. The charges were ultimately dropped after the Supreme Court ruled last year that any restrictions on firearms must honor the historical context… Read more.
A medical cannabis physician in Florida is suing the state Department of Health and two investigators who posed as patients in a sting operation during which officials tried to strip him of his medical license, WUSF News reports. Dr. Joseph Dorn was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing in March 2022. The Health Department had alleged Dorn violated state law by not performing physicals on the undercover agents who posed as patients seeking medical cannabis cards, which agency officials called employing a “trick or scheme” in the… Read more.
A state’s cannabis regulations can run hundreds of pages and contain even more rules. But the regulators who create these rules and law enforcement officials who enforce them care the most about three things: Preventing diversion to the illicit market. The physical security of cannabis operations. A potential drain on law enforcement and community resources. To stay compliant and maintain good relations with regulators and law enforcement, cannabis businesses should focus their security efforts around these three goals. “In terms of… Read more.
Federal prosecutors charged former Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson, a Republican, and three others in a public corruption scheme related to the state’s medical marijuana licensing process. All four defendants are cooperating with the investigation and have agreed to plead guilty to felony offenses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Moving forward I want to be crystal clear,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “My office, working with FBI Michigan, will place the highest priority on our work to prosecute public corruption cases at… Read more.
The former head of a Michigan medical cannabis licensing board on Thursday pleaded guilty to accepting $110,000 in bribes in exchange for industry licenses, CBS News reports. Rick Johnson served as head of the board for two years and served as state House speaker from 2001-2004 when Republicans controlled the chamber. During a press conference on Thursday, U.S. Attorney Mark Totten announced the charges against Johnson, John Dalaly, Brian Pierce, and Vincent Brown. All four signed plea deals admitting the charges. Dalaly,… Read more.
Devon Deyhle, the proud owner of Tall Truck, a small-scale cannabis growing operation based in the small town of Peachham, made a costly mistake when he decided to promote his business on social media. The ambitious grower, who cultivates his plants indoors in a Tier 1 facility spanning less than 1,000 square feet, posted a video on Instagram showcasing his bountiful yield of high-quality cannabis. Little did Devon know that this seemingly harmless promotional video would prove a costly mistake.… Read more.
A South Dakota medical cannabis company is suing the state Department of Health (DOH) alleging overreach, attempts to enforce unpromulgated rules, and the improper issuance of violations which has led to damages of over $1 million, KELO reports. The case by 605 Cannabis dates back to an inspection of their facility in January which the company claims was carried out improperly and conducted while the facility was partially closed due to a blizzard. In the complaint, 605 claims that DOH inspections are… Read more.
A federal judge in Arkansas dismissed several claims by a medical marijuana dispensary applicant, including tortious interference and racial discrimination during the state’s license-evaluation process. According to Law360, U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. ruled that tortious interference doesn’t apply to the claim made by Absolute Essence because it’s still an applicant and doesn’t have any property or business rights. Absolute Essence’s suit in February 2022 alleged that the company that state regulators hired to score applications, Public Consulting Group Holdings and… Read more.
Following adult-use cannabis legalization in Missouri, the state has granted more than 15,000 expungements of nonviolent misdemeanor and felony cannabis crimes, KMOV reports. Under the state’s voter-approved adult-use cannabis law, possession of up to three ounces is legal for adults and all eligible misdemeanors for individuals who completed their sentences must be expunged automatically by June 8, while low-level felonies must be expunged by December 8. Charges that included selling cannabis to a minor, violence, or driving under the influence are not eligible… Read more.
A Brazilian appeals court has agreed to rule on whether companies and farmers can plant cannabis in the country, which could open the door to legal cultivation for medicinal and industrial purposes after legislative efforts stalled in recent years. The decision by the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), Brazil's top appeals court for non-constitutional matters, was made public on March 14 and established its jurisdiction for a nationwide precedent regarding the import of seeds and planting of cannabis. Now, all pending cases… Read more.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged American Patriot Brands Inc. (APB), its chief executive officer, and five other entities with siphoning off millions of dollars in a long-running scheme that defrauded more than 100 investors across the country. According to the SEC’s complaint, APB CEO Robert Y. Lee, along with current and former executives Brian L. Pallas and J. Bernard Rice, began making a series of “false and misleading statements to investors” in 2016 about the company’s financial position… Read more.
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a brief in a federal appeals court as part of an ongoing lawsuit over the government’s ban preventing medical marijuana patients from possessing firearms. Many of DOJ’s arguments in the brief filed on Wednesday mirror points that the agency made in earlier filings in the case, including in a federal district court that dismissed the lawsuit that’s now being appealed by its plaintiffs. But the latest document places new emphasis on the “wide-ranging consequences” that… Read more.
A Pennsylvania appeals court last Friday ruled that the state’s medical cannabis law does not prohibit insurers from reimbursing injured workers for medical cannabis in cases where it is used to treat accepted work-related injuries, according to a Business Insurance report. The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decision found that the state’s Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board erred when it upheld a decision by Firestone Tire & Rubber to deny reimbursement for the cost of an employee’s medical cannabis. The claimant, Paul Sheetz, who is now deceased, used medical cannabis… Read more.
A group that includes some of New York’s medical cannabis companies is suing the state over its plan to issue adult-use retail cannabis licenses to social equity applicants before opening applications to all businesses, Syracuse.com reports. The complaint alleges unconstitutional overreach and policymaking, egregious abdication of duties, and actions that put citizens’ health and safety at risk. The lawsuit was filed by the Coalition for Access to Regulated & Safe Cannabis which describes itself as “an unincorporated trade association.” The group includes Acreage… Read more.
Police in Pomona, California, are investigating a business where they found 1,500 pounds of unlicensed marijuana products as well as electronic casino gaming consoles. The business also had an area dedicated to selling cannabis, The LeafDesk reported. According to the media outlet, police estimated the value of the cannabis products, which included flower, edibles and hashish oil, at $1.3 million. However, government agencies often inflate such estimates. The investigation comes on the heels of a recent report by California regulators about the… Read more.
Multistate operators with New York medical cannabis licenses sued regulators on Thursday in an attempt to gain quick entry into the state’s adult-use marijuana market. The MSOs are currently shut out from New York’s legal recreational market. In a lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court in Albany, the Coalition for Access to Regulated and Safe Cannabis (CARSC) alleges that the Office of Cannabis Management and the Cannabis Control Board violated New York’s 2021 legalization law – the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act… Read more.
The United Nations’s (UN) drug control body is suggesting that the U.S. is out of compliance with a decades-old international drug treaty because the federal government is passively allowing states within the country to legalize marijuana. While the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has routinely criticized countries for allowing the enactment of cannabis legalization due to their obligations under the 1961 Single Convention to maintain prohibition, a section of the new annual report report it released last week stands… Read more.
Seattle dispensary owner and former Sonic Shawn Kemp was involved in a shooting incident at the Tacoma Mall on Mar. 8. Tacoma PD reported: "An altercation between the occupants of 2 cars led to shots being fired at a parking lot in the 4500 blk of S. Steele St. One car fled. No injuries were reported. A gun was recovered. A 53-yr-old male was booked for Drive-By Shooting. The investigation is ongoing." That male person was Kemp, the six-time NBA… Read more.
Over 100 kg of cannabis shipped from Canada intercepted by Italian police In a recent cargo from Canada to Italy, 108 kg of cannabis were concealed among the absorbent mats for animals. Police confiscated the shipment from an organization that apparently deals with shipping and logistics in the Milan area earlier this week, according to local sources that were initially made public by StratCann. Police were contacted after workers noticed a cannabis odor coming from a pallet of packages that had… Read more.
Truck drivers testing positive for marijuana jumped 31% last year The utilization of drugs by commercial truck drivers has reached a peak not seen since 2019, and the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) is determined to uncover the reasons behind it. ATRI is embarking on a mission to gather information from carriers on safety and related concerns arising from the legalization of marijuana at the state level. ATRI aims to unravel the mystery surrounding the upsurge in drug use among commercial truck… Read more.
Two South Dakota medical cannabis firms are suing a former political operative for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), accusing the defendant of defrauding the companies and their investors of about $1.7 million. A former political operative for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is being sued in South Dakota, accused of defrauding two medical cannabis companies and their investors of about $1.7 million, the Star Tribune reports. Dakota Natural Growers, 605 Cannabis, and more than 20 of their investors filed the lawsuit last… Read more.
Cannabis regulators in Michigan have suspended the medical and adult-use cannabis business licenses of TAS Asset Holdings after discovering the company was adding unregulated cannabis to its products. Michigan regulators have suspended the medical and adult-use cannabis licenses of TAS Asset Holdings after it found its products were combined with unregulated cannabis product before being sold in the regulated market. The affected products were marketed under the “Fwaygo Extracts” brand and produced between November 10, 2022, and November 17, 2022. … Read more.
Amsterdam Bans Weed Smoking in the Red Light District Amsterdam's red light district has been a haven for tourists seeking liberation from the rules and regulations of their mundane lives. However, the residents of this vibrant district are keen to tone down the wild atmosphere. The city council recently announced that cannabis use would be prohibited on the streets of the red light district, citing the disruptive and dreary ambiance that often lingers in the area during the night. This new regulation… Read more.
Legislation to eventually allow Washington State marijuana companies to engage in interstate commerce passed out of a House committee on Tuesday. A companion bill on the Senate side cleared its own committee hurdle last month. If the legislation is enacted, interstate marijuana trade would depend on a policy change at the federal level: either a law “to allow the interstate transfer of cannabis” between legal businesses or an opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice “allowing or tolerating” marijuana commerce across… Read more.
A federal law that bars individuals who use marijuana from owning firearms has been declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in Oklahoma. Judge Patrick Wyrick, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, ruled in favor of a man who was charged in August for violating the ban, stating that it infringed upon his Second Amendment right to bear arms. Wyrick emphasized that while the government can prevent dangerous individuals from possessing firearms, it cannot restrict someone's fundamental right based solely on… Read more.
As 2023 began, cannabis advocates on Capitol Hill and the industry at large were steeped in frustration and disappointment. In December, despite broad bipartisan support, Senate Republicans abruptly stripped the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act from must-pass spending legislation, crushing the industry’s expectation that critical banking services at last were within reach. As lawmakers departed for the winter holiday, legal business owners—many of whom are forced to do business in cash—contemplated another year of spiraling operating costs and workplace vulnerability. Nevertheless,… Read more.
Former cartel bosses, drug traffickers and police officers took the stand this week in the trial of Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s former federal security minister and architect of the country’s war on drugs, which he carried out while publicly working with the DEA and secretly working with the world most powerful drug cartel capo, Joaquín “El Chapo" Guzmán. No, this is not a script for the fourth season of Netflix’s 'El Chapo' series though it would make an intriguing Mexican telenovela as the most trusted… Read more.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s announcement Thursday that it won’t regulate products containing CBD and will instead pass that buck to Congress means the preservation of the current, uneasy status quo for now. It will also mean more work for an increasingly fractious Congress – and further uncertainty for companies deciding whether to enter the $4 billion-plus CBD business. In addition to grappling with broader marijuana policy reform – including access to banking, tax relief and the question of federal… Read more.
A new report found cannabis legalization does not lead to an increase in substance use disorders or the increased use of illicit drugs. Cannabis legalization had not led to an increase in substance use disorders or increased use of other illicit drugs and should not be considered a “gateway drug,” according to a study by researchers from the University of Colorado. The study was published on January 5 in the Psychological Medicine journal. The researchers also found no link between cannabis… Read more.
Changes are afoot among the rules and regulations governing cannabis in several states this year. Weed laws are evolving in 11 states thanks to voter-drive ballot initiatives, new laws introduced in state legislatures, and executive orders enacted by state governors. So, what’s happening? Cannawayz.com has a quick rundown of new laws, rules, and regulations, broken down state by state: California Taxes are going up (already one of the most heavily taxed weed markets), which is a huge bummer! But at… Read more.
As we closed out 2022, we saw the federal government pass its first standalone cannabis law, the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, with more possible federal reform on the horizon. On the state level, the industry has seen an ever-increasing push for additional medical and/or adult-use legalization as well. Against this backdrop, the following focuses on five cannabis laws to watch in 2023. 1. The SAFE Banking Act What is it? The Safe and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act would… Read more.
Opportunities in the U.S. cannabis industry continue to expand, despite some notable setbacks in the November 2022 elections and continuing resistance at the federal level to marijuana reform. Up to four new state markets could launch this year: Alabama, Connecticut, Mississippi and Missouri. That’s on top of the recent adult-use launches in New York and Rhode Island. When mature, the New York market will likely be the second largest in the nation. Market snapshots States coming online this year have potentially lucrative futures,… Read more.
Swedish attorney goes after Mark Zuckerberg for marijuana investment fraud scheme Regarding the marijuana Ponzi scam Juicy Fields, Swedish attorney Lars Olofsson has filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook and Instagram's parent company Meta (META). The scam affected over 800 persons across about 80 countries, particularly in Spain, France, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, and Malta, and each one of them is in support of the ongoing legal battle. The lawsuit alleges that Facebook failed to supervise who they authorized to utilize… Read more.
The cannabis industry has always had to fight and claw for everything it has gotten from the hands of the law. From its present stance before state governments to the numerous open medical and recreational markets. It has always been a struggle and it looks to continue to be as cannabis businesses are now being targeted using the RICO statute. A tactic that was once reserved specifically for the mafia is now being employed against legitimate cannabis businesses. Read on as… Read more.
At sunset from atop Haystack Butte, the desert floor below shimmers with a thousand lights. Illegal cannabis farms. At this hour and distance, serene hues cloak the rugged enclave of Mount Shasta Vista, a tense collective of seasonal camps guarded by guns and dogs where the daily runs of water trucks are interrupted by police raids, armed robberies and, sometimes, death. So many hoop houses pack this valley near the Oregon border that last year it had the capacity to… Read more.
If Dan Bilzerian had listened to his father and not taken his marijuana company public, the brash Instagram celebrity’s Ignite International Brands might not currently be under investigation by both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice. “There is no reason to have a public company unless you intend to raise capital” from public markets, as Dan Bilzerian’s father, Paul, told MJBizDaily in an interview last month. Paul Bilzerian, who said he is now serving as an unpaid… Read more.
Brittney Griner will not be coming home for the holidays. In a disappointing decision on October 25, the WNBA star who was arrested for cannabis possession in Russia in February and convicted and sentenced to nine years in jail in August, lost her appeal and has been banished to a penal colony. The court appearance was not in person. While the Russian judge called the previous ruling "fair," Griner's attorney Alexander Boykov said, "No judge, hand on heart, will honestly say that Griner's nine-year sentence is in line… Read more.
Black people are still more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related crimes in Virginia despite adult-use legalization, the Washington Post reports. The reforms took effect July 1, 2021, and while arrests for cannabis have dropped overall, Black adults accounted for nearly 60% of such cases before the state’s district and circuit courts, according to the Post analysis. Black people account for about 20% of Virginia’s population. The bulk of the arrests is for distribution as legal sales have not yet commenced in the… Read more.
The Cannabis Bill, which has been reviewed by the House Scrutiny Committee, addresses all the concerns raised by both the Democrat and Pheu Thai parties, said Suphachai Jaismut, head of the committee and a party-list MP for the Bhumjaithai Party. He said that the committee had thoroughly reviewed the controversial Bill and addressed concerns over the ease of access to cannabis for recreational purposes by youth. He claimed that the committee had taken some provisions from the Liquor, Cigarettes and… Read more.
TRAVERSE CITY, MI -- It was quiet morning on Thursday, Oct. 6, inside Traverse City’s Great Lakes Hemp Supplements, a cannabis business with CBD products and a decal on the window that reads, “healers not dealers.” The solace shattered. “This is raid,” shouted Michigan state troopers who rushed in the front door. “Someone’s screaming, ‘state police,’” said 26-year-old office manager Megan O’Brien, who was meeting with a customer in another room. “I come around the corner and there are like… Read more.
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — A former county official in Southern California will admit he funneled bribes through his company to a city councilman in exchange for the councilman’s votes and influence in the city’s cannabis permitting process, federal prosecutors said. Gabriel Chavez, a former San Bernardino County planning commissioner, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of bribery, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The politician who solicited the bribes – former Baldwin Park City Councilmember Ricardo Pacheco –… Read more.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — With California’s four-year-old legal marijuana market in disarray, the state’s top prosecutor said Tuesday that he will try a new broader approach to disrupting illegal pot farms that undercut the legal economy and sow widespread environmental damage. The state will expand its nearly four-decade multi-agency seasonal eradication program — the largest in the U.S. that this year scooped up nearly a million marijuana plants — into a year-round effort aimed at investigating who is behind the… Read more.
Just over three-quarters of self-identified Republicans said the government shouldn’t fight state legalization backed by voters, a poll found. Republicans don’t want the federal government to crack down on state-legal weed markets. Just over three-quarters of self-identified Republicans said the government shouldn’t fight state medical or adult-use legalization backed by voters and instead should remove any obstacles facing those markets, according to a new national poll commissioned by the industry group National Cannabis Roundtable. Just 17 percent of respondents disagreed that the… Read more.
Hello, My names River Maguire. I’m From Mendocino county, I’m a 2nd generation farmer. I am writing you in regards to a huge labor scandal that occurred last year at the “Bad Lands” legal grow out in Lake County, Ca. I was one of the head managing farmers that was hired for the project, By Patrick Warner of Outcrop and Jed and Josiah of Humboldt Standard. I worked and was a manager of Outcrop for 3 seasons. Not one of… Read more.
A brother-and-sister team convicted of trying to bribe a Northern California sheriff to protect family marijuana grows were sentenced Tuesday in Sacramento, but there were stark differences in the punishment each received. Gaosheng Laitinen, 41, a small shop owner in Minnesota and the mother of a 7-year-old boy, was sentenced to time served and a $50,000 fine. “I regret everything,” said Laitinen, who has been out of custody since shortly after her August 2017 arrest and offered a tearful apology… Read more.
In 2016, Californians voted to legalize recreational adult-use marijuana. Proponents of Proposition 64, including then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, argued that it would generate massive revenue, while decreasing illicit cannabis and drug cartel activity in the state. Now, nearly six years later, it’s clear that promise has not been kept. While the state has collected billions in tax revenue from cannabis sales since legalization went into effect in 2018, billions more continue to pour into a thriving illicit market. A new… Read more.
A UCLA chemist and colleagues are now a step closer to their goal of developing a handheld tool similar to an alcohol Breathalyzer that can detect THC on a person’s breath after they’ve smoked marijuana. In a paper published in the journal Organic Letters, UCLA organic chemistry professor Neil Garg and researchers from the UCLA startup ElectraTect Inc. describe the process by which THC introduced, in a solution, into their laboratory-built device can be oxidized, creating an electric current whose strength indicates how… Read more.
Cannabis multistate operator MedMen Enterprises argues in its response to a lawsuit that it shouldn’t have to pay the almost $1 million it allegedly owes in back rent because marijuana is illegal under federal law. Real estate firm Thor Equities Group charges in a lawsuit filed in New York federal court that Los Angeles-based MedMen defaulted on rent payments agreed to in a 2019 lease, Law 360 reported. New York-headquartered Thor Equities said in the July lawsuit that MedMen failed to pay… Read more.