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Anti-Marijuana Group Tries to Save Face by Spinning Marijuana Poll Results

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Smart Approaches to Marijuana

A new poll commissioned by the anti-marijuana group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) accidentally revealed how unpopular current marijuana prohibition is in the United States.

The poll asked 1,000 randomly-selected registered voters from across the United States their opinion about the federal government’s current marijuana policy. When the poll’s results revealed that the majority of respondents (83%) were pro-marijuana, SAM took action by spinning the story.

SAM, in an attempt to save face, spun the story by publishing an article titled: “Half of Americans support alternatives to full marijuana legalization: poll.”

In reality, the poll reveals that a vast majority of Americans (83%) support marijuana by disapproving of current federal marijuana prohibition.

Poll results:
– 49% support federal recreational marijuana legalization
– 29% support federal medical marijuana legalization
– 5% support federal marijuana decriminalization
– 16% want to keep current federal marijuana prohibition
– 1% of respondents said they were “unsure”

This poll, and many other polls, are proof that Americans have become pro-marijuana and support federal recreational and/or medical marijuana legalization while disapproving of current federal marijuana prohibition.

SAM

Photo: learnaboutsam .org / Featured photo: marijuana .com

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Alcohol Sales Drop 15% in States with Medical Marijuana Laws

Wino

Two U.S. universities and one in South America have completed a joint study that found a reduction in the U.S. alcohol consumption in relation to the increase of medical marijuana laws in a majority of states. The findings were presented by Michele Baggio (University of Connecticut – Storrs), Alberto Chong (Georgia State University – Atlanta and Universidad del Pacifico – Lima) and Sungoh Kwon (University of Connecticut –Storrs) and add validity to what some believe proves to be true about the relationship between alcohol (wine specifically) and marijuana consumption.

The researchers used data from Nielsen Retail Scanner alcohol sales from 90 different alcohol chain stores including grocery, convenience, drug, and mass distribution retailers for a 9-year period, according to Forbes. Data was examined from figures collected between 2006-2015. This method was chosen because the researchers thought that asking consumers wouldn’t provide reliable information, since a lot people simply don’t divulge the whole truth about consumption habits.

In the time examined, counties in legal medical marijuana states displayed a near 15% drop in monthly alcohol sales.

The conclusion of the study indicates that marijuana and alcohol may be substitutes for each other. This means that they share an almost exact audience. If it’s true, then it suggests that introducing legal marijuana where alcohol consumption is legal may result in decreased alcohol sales.

Medical marijuana is available to only a small percentage of total marijuana users, but this study may be a sign of what the alcohol industry might expect in states that adopt recreational marijuana laws.

Another portion of the study looked to determine whether marijuana law reform promises a replacement of alcohol consumption completely. A definitive answer isn’t available. However, in a recent webinar regarding the state of the wine industry, host Rob McMillan, president of Silicon Valley Bank Wine Division, was joined by two guests involved in the wine industry and they stated that they see no evidence and don’t believe that marijuana will be a major substitute for wine. McMillan mentioned that beer is more likely than wine to see sales numbers drop. His reasoning: wine compliments a meal, marijuana doesn’t.

McMillan may have a point, but other factors needs to be considered too: after using marijuana, some people tend to consume more food or drink. That being said, it isn’t far-fetched to imagine that rather than decreasing alcohol sales, nationwide marijuana legalization might increase sales.

The wine and marijuana industries are at pivotal points of discovery.

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Democrats Introduce a Bill to Federally Legalize Marijuana

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Congress

Several House Democrats have introduced legislation that would federally legalize marijuana and expunge federal convictions for marijuana-related crimes associated with use and possession.

12 House Democrats sponsor the bill, which is a companion to Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act, that was introduced in the Senate in 2017, Business Insider reports.

Along with taking marijuana off the Controlled Substances Act, the bill goes further to provide “restorative justice” to areas unfairly affected by marijuana arrests and convictions by creating an “inclusive industry from the ground up,” according to Representative Lee.

Lee says the legislation is “a bold proposal to reverse decades of discriminatory drug enforcement and to bring federal marijuana policy in line with the wishes of the American people.”

Passage of the bill would create a $500 million community reinvestment fund focusing on job training for the industry. Communities disproportionately affected would also be a focal point, as well as expunging convictions regarding use and/or possession.

Federal funding for law enforcement and prison construction in states disproportionately affected by arrests and convictions would be cut, especially in low-income areas and those with concentrated groups of minorities. The funds from the cuts would go into the reinvestment programs.

Booker said, “It’s the reverse of the 1994 crime bill. It creates incentives for states to change their marijuana laws.”

Recreational marijuana is legal in eight states and 29 states have some form of legal medical marijuana. A recent Gallup poll indicates that marijuana legalization is a bipartisan issue: 64% of Americans, including 51% of Republicans, support it.

Booker said, “We’re going to get the federal government out of the states’ business.”

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Singapore’s Surprising Medical Marijuana Research Program

Singapore Marijuana

Numerous states have reformed medical marijuana laws, and medical marijuana research continues in many of them as well as in other parts of the world. But in countries in the Asia-Pacific region, things are quite different.

Singapore has some of the strictest drug laws worldwide. Possessing just over a pound of marijuana could result in the death penalty under Singapore’s 1973 “Misuse of Drugs Act,” according to Hawaii Public Radio. Yet, the country has decided to allow research and development on marijuana’s medicinal properties.

Singapore’s pharmaceutical industry is thriving with research, development and increased focus on biotechnology, which has generated an interest in medical marijuana; Specifically, lab-created medical marijuana. Singapore’s National Research Foundation introduced a 5-year program to create fully-synthetic medical-use cannabinoids.

This work is part of an $20 million program surrounding Synthetic Biology Research and Development.

Government officials advised that there are multiple focus areas for the program, including researching yeasts and bacteria as well as biochemical—all could have major commercial applications.

Synthetic cannabinoids are making big headlines in Singapore. Officials said that broadening the areas of synthetic biology might be a key to future job creation and sources of revenue.

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Vermont Becomes 9th State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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Vermont Marijuana Legalization

On Jan 22, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a bill into law that makes marijuana legal for adults in Vermont. H. 511 eliminates Vermont’s civil penalty for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana and removes penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants for people 21 and older, beginning on July 1.

“After more than 15 years of hard work by MPP and our allies in the state, adults in Vermont no longer need to fear being fined or criminalized for low-level marijuana possession and cultivation,” said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “This is a great step forward for the state and the whole region. Responsible adults will soon have the freedom to enjoy a safer option legally, and law enforcement will be free to concentrate on serious crimes with actual victims. We are looking forward to working with lawmakers and state leaders to continue improving marijuana laws in the Green Mountain State.”

Vermont is the ninth state to make marijuana legal for adults and the first to do so through its legislature. Eight other states have enacted laws legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use, all through ballot initiatives. In Washington, D.C., voters approved a ballot initiative making personal possession and home cultivation legal for adults 21 and older.

“Gov. Scott and the Vermont Legislature made history today by removing penalties for adult possession and limited cultivation of marijuana, and they are almost certainly just the first to do so,” said Matthew Schweich, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “Lawmakers around the country are finally catching up with their constituents and realizing that there is no reason to punish responsible adults for possessing a substance that is safer than alcohol. Vermont exhibited real leadership on this issue, and we urge other state legislatures to work toward sensible marijuana policies with the same diligence.”

Fifty-seven percent of Vermont voters support allowing adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana, according to a statewide survey in March by Public Policy Polling. An October 2017 Gallup poll found 64% of Americans support making marijuana legal.

The Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island legislatures are expected to seriously consider making marijuana legal for adults this year as well, and the New Hampshire House recently approved a similar measure. In Michigan, signatures have been submitted for a November 2018 ballot measure to regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults.

Photo: greenrushdaily

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A Synopsis of the Primary Types of Marijuana Concentrates

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Marijuana Concentrates

Marijuana concentrate is obtained by extracting only the pure THC and/or CBD from marijuana. The most common use for marijuana oil is for making edibles and vaping solutions. Some concentrates are stickier and harder to work with than others, which make a great consistency for dabbing.

Wax

Wax is one of the stickiest concentrates made and is used for dabbing. Decarboxylated THC is made from reducing oil to a thick, sap-like consistency. Don’t attempt to get wax from the container to your rig with your fingers; you need a good dabber to handle that part.

Crumble

Crumble is one of the hardest concentrates to work with. It’s super dry and needs to be warmed in your fingers before you try to use it. It’s the same main composition of budder and wax but it’s broken down more to create the crumble-like texture.

Tip: Leave some residue on your dabber to help the crumble stick to it better.

Shatter

Shatter is a hard concentrate that simulates the look of stained glass. Shatter needs to be stored away from direct sunlight. The container needs to be kept tightly closed. Keep in mind that shatter will stick to anything it touches. A little bit goes a long way and keeps you comfortably medicated for an extended period of time.

Oil

Marijuana oil resembles olive oil. It is often used in syringe form for sublingual use. It is also used for edibles and vape cartridge liquids. Over time, oil will harden and/or evaporate. It is one of the most potent forms of marijuana as many oils measure 70%-90%THC.

Budder

The consistency of budder is very similar to peanut butter. It can get messy. It’s made from whipping marijuana oil sap into a smooth budder product. To dab with budder, refrigerate it for a bit or it’s likely to just fall off of your glass pin and make a mess.

Closing Thoughts

It is important to know that marijuana concentrates are extremely potent. Start with small doses until you determine how you handle the different forms of concentrates and their potency. Dabbing wax forms of concentrates will likely leave you hacking up a lung if you take too big of a hit, but you’re medicated state will last a couple of hours.

Marijuana Oils

Contact your local dispensary to learn more about the concentrates they sell.

 

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2018 Coachella Music Festival Bans Marijuana Despite California Legalization

Coachella Cannabis

The Coachella music festival in California has banned the use of marijuana on its grounds despite California legalizing recreational marijuana on January 1st.

Coachella’s website states, “Sorry bro. Marijuana and marijuana products aren’t allowed inside [the festival]. Even in 2018 and beyond. If that changes, we’ll update this answer,” according to Billboard.

As of the January 1, anyone 21 or older in California can legally possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes. Currently, only a few dispensaries sell recreational marijuana, but expansion is coming.

Coachella Music Festival is from April 13 -20, 2018.

Photo: fb .com/coachella

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Study: Federal Marijuana Legalization Would Generate 1 Million Jobs

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Weed Jobs

According to a new study, nationwide marijuana legalization could create over 1 million new jobs within the next 10 years. Information from New Frontier Data’s study indicates that the federal government would generate at least $131.8 billion in federal tax revenue in the first 8 years of national legalization. And, with federal legalization, at least 782,000 jobs could be created immediately.  New Frontier Data also forecasts that the marijuana industry could employ as many as 1.1 million people by 2025, including growers and retailers.

Colorado’s legal recreational marijuana industry created 18,000 full-time jobs and generated $2.4 billion in economic stimulation just one year after they legalized it, according to Newsweek. New Frontier Data’s study suggests that this trend could be sustained on national levels.

Giadha Aguirre De Carcer of New Frontier Data said, “If cannabis businesses were legalized tomorrow and taxed as normal businesses with a standard 35 percent tax rate, cannabis businesses would infuse the U.S. economy with an additional $12.6 billion this year.”

Marijuana Policy Group says that increased demand would stimulate economic growth from the legal industry. The marijuana industry, for instance, supports other industries such as lighting, commercial real estate, agricultural supplies and various tech companies.

Photo: The Cannabist

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Vermont Is About to Become First State to Legalize Marijuana via Legislature

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Vermont Marijuana

Vermont is poised to become the first state to legalize adult possession and cultivation of marijuana legislatively.

A bill that would make marijuana legal for adults in Vermont received final approval on Wednesday from the Vermont Senate and will soon make its way to the desk of Gov. Phil Scott. He vetoed a similar bill in 2017, but, in December, Gov. Scott indicated that he intends to sign H. 511 into law, the MPP reports.

H. 511 would eliminate Vermont’s civil penalty for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana and remove penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants, beginning in July.

“This is a big step forward for Vermont,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Vermonters should be proud that their state is becoming the first to do this legislatively, rather than by ballot initiative.”

Fifty-seven percent of Vermont voters support allowing adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana, according to a statewide survey of 755 registered voters conducted in March by Public Policy Polling. Only 39% are opposed. Nationwide support is similarly strong. An October 2017 Gallup poll found 64% of Americans support making marijuana legal.

Vermont is poised to become the ninth state to make marijuana legal for adults and the first to do so through its legislature. Eight other states have enacted laws legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use, all through ballot initiatives. In Washington, D.C., voters approved a ballot initiative making personal possession and home cultivation legal for adults 21 and older. Vermont and 22 other states do not have a ballot initiative process. Those states’ marijuana laws can only be modified by legislatures.

“This will be an important milestone for the legalization movement. When Gov. Scott signs this legislation, Vermont will become the first state in the country to end marijuana prohibition through legislative action,” said Matthew Schweich, interim executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “MPP is proud to have helped lead the Vermont effort, just as we led the legalization ballot initiative campaigns in Maine and Massachusetts in 2016. In the past two years, we’ve seen incredible progress on marijuana policy across New England. Now that yet another state has rejected marijuana prohibition, there is even more pressure for Congress to take action to prevent any federal interference from Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It’s time for the federal government to respect the authority of states to determine their own marijuana policies.”

The Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island legislatures are expected to seriously consider making marijuana legal for adults this year as well, and the New Hampshire House approved a similar measure on Tuesday. In Michigan, signatures have been submitted for a November 2018 ballot measure to regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults.

Photo: MPP

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Australia Becomes 4th Country to Legalize Medical Marijuana Exportation

Australia Cannabis

Australia legalized medical marijuana in 2016, and just decided to legalize the exportation of medical marijuana products, making it the fourth country in the world to do so.

Niv Dagan of Peak Asset Management estimates that Australia’s medical marijuana market could quadruple to $1 billion by 2020, according to CNBC.

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said, “We’d like to be potentially the world’s number one supplier.”

Share prices of Australian marijuana companies drastically rose with the news.

Canada and Germany could be big markets for Australia’s marijuana producers, according to Peter Crock of Cann Group. Shares in Cann Group soared 35% upon news of Australia legalizing medical marijuana exports.

Grand View Research reported in 2017 that the global medical marijuana market could reach $55 billion by 2025.

Hunt said, “Our goal is to ensure that Australian producers have every opportunity to be the number one producers of the highest-grade medical cannabis in the world.”

The new medical marijuana policy is expected to go into effect in February 2018.

Nations choosing to import or export medical marijuana have to report every trade made with the UN International Narcotics Control Board.