Legalization in New Jersey Collapses Vote Cancelled The New Jersey State Senate vote on legalizing recreational marijuana was cancelled.  This is a major blow to Gov. Phil Murphy on one of his signature campaign issues.  Bill sponsors hope it can be brought back in late fall 2019 but they are going to have to bring more Senators on board.  Sponsors are tight-lipped about what they would change to get those additional votes. Democratic Majorities Across the Board Like New York, New Jersey Democrats now control the executive and legislative branches (Assembly and Senate both) but I think what the New Jersey and New York Democrats are finding that they have to actually read the bills.  Back when their Republican opposition was sure to stop the bills they didn’t even bother to try to work the bills to make them better.  They just cried obstruction.  Now that they don’t have a scapegoat who always just says no (pun intended) the Democrats must bear the responsibility for the lack of support on these same bills that they formerly supported 100%. An Urban Split It is interesting how Democratic urban representatives are split.  Some look to legalization as an opportunity to… 

House, Senate Majorities and Marijuana

House, Senate Majorities and Marijuana Elections Have Consequences What do the election results mean for cannabis?  I have seen opinions from every possible angle.  One of them will be right.  It might as well be mine, so here are my thoughts.  Please forgive my jaded opinions of politicians. I can’t help myself. House of Representatives I think Republican House members will increasingly support marijuana because the majority of the population does and they want to get re-elected.  This bodes well for the House being able to pass a bill.  Democrats will support anything they think young people and people of color want because they want to get re-elected. Even though all their leaders are septuagenarians or better, they like to feel like they are back in their Woodstock days, young and carefree – Free college, free healthcare, free transportation, free cannabis, free love, free weed… Senate So if a House bill to eliminate or modify prohibition gets to the Senate, it has a good chance of getting a debate and vote because Republicans believe in state’s rights and may go along for that reason.  I would say that another great reason for Republicans to vote on prohibition is… 

Marijuana Won the Election

Marijuana Won the Election Recreational Marijuana Legalized in Michigan Voters in Michigan approved a ballot initiative to legalize cannabis. Medical Marijuana Legalized in Missouri and Utah Missouri voters voted to allow medical marijuana. Utah voters voted to allow medical marijuana. Many cities voted to decriminalize or otherwise reform marijuana law. Also several Governor’s races were won by reformist candidates so the environment is favorable in those states, to act like NY’s Governor, who will propose a bill or make a proposal as a part of the budgeting process. Florida and Illinois are on investors’ watch list too. North Dakota…Not So Fast North Dakota did not pass proposition #3 which was the most ridiculously liberal marijuana law you could imagine; no limit on possession, no governing body to oversee retail operations, prohibits prosecution of any marijuana offense as long as it didn’t relate to a person under 21. Whoever wrote that proposition was smoking the wacky weed for sure and the people that voted it down were not. New Gallop Poll Gallop 2018 survey Gallop released their latest survey data on marijuana and reported that 66% of Americans now support legalization. The Green Rush is on…

The Case Against Repealing Federal Prohibition

The Case Against Repealing Federal Prohibition The case against repealing federal prohibition right now in my mind is simple.  The government will screw it up because it will be pushed by deep pocketed special interests and political motivations.  In Canada, a country with myriad laws and levels of governments similar to the United States, legalization was rushed and it’s gonna be a mess.  One can only hope that we will learn from Canada’s mistakes.  I think a better tack for the short term would be simply to decriminalize and keep the industry in the hands of small businesses within each state.  The feds should work on freeing up industrial hemp and cannabis medical research but lay back and watch what happens in Canada for a while. Canada already has run out of pot! Sit back and watch.    

Marijuana and Hemp 2018 Ballot Proposals

Marijuana and Hemp 2018 Ballot Proposals   Voters in Michigan, Missouri, Utah, Colorado and North Dakota have marijuana and hemp proposals on the ballot next month.  New York doesn’t need a ballot proposal.  It’s all but certain that the Governor will propose legalization in some form in his 2019 budget proposal in January (to be enacted before April 1).    Here are some highlights:   Michigan   Allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use. Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences. Create a licensing system for marijuana businesses Change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.   Missouri Allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, licensing marijuana facilities. Impose various tax levels for various causes.   Utah Legalize medical cannabis and in limited circumstances allow growing up to six plants for personal medical use.   Colorado A ballot proposal that would move the definition of hemp from the constitution to the law – thus allowing the definition to be changed much easier when necessary. This is a nod to being more competitive with other states when it comes to hemp… 

Marijuana Infused Lobster

Marijuana Infused Lobster aka Reefer Madness A lobster shack in Maine made big news recently when the owner announced she was going to serve marijuana infused lobster. Her stated purpose for getting the lobsters high is to ease their death.  The announcement also got big attention by the government.  What nonsense!  Consumers really have to have their guard up with all the marijuana madness around.  A nice buzz is not going to do a thing to ease the feeling of being boiled alive.  The government was not amused either at this new way to infuse your food.  For someone who is serious about marijuana, the growth of the industry, and the stigma around cannabis, this nonsense is really annoying. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and tranquilize my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

NY State Marijuana Hearings This Fall

NY State Marijuana Hearings This Fall NY’s Legislature has announced four NY State marijuana hearings this Fall.  I will attend them and report back anything of interest.  This is a great sign that legalization is on the fast track to becoming a reality.  The Governor has strongly signaled his support by releasing the study that concluded it wasn’t a case of if but when and how to do the legalization.  Now the legislature is dipping their foot in the water too. The NY State marijuana hearings will cover topics including economic regulations, criminal justice policy, public health concerns and diversity in the marijuana industry. Hearing Topics Dates have not yet been set for the NY State marijuana hearings.  The announcement on the hearings was made by: Assembly Codes Committee Chair Joseph Lentol (considers issues and legislation regarding the State’s criminal and civil justice system); Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (issues of public health); Governmental Operations Committee Chair Crystal Peoples-Stokes (The issue areas of the Committee include: governmental reform, human rights, rights of individuals with disabilities, Minority and Women owned Businesses) and; Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee Chair Linda B. Rosenthal (develops and considers legislation impacting programs that provide prevention, treatment, and recovery… 

Close to Home: New Jersey Senate Likely Vote to Legalize Marijuana

New Jersey to Legalize Marijuana The president of New Jersey’s Senate this week indicated that he thinks that the votes are there for New Jersey to legalize marijuana by the end of September.  New Jersey is ahead of New York but not by much.  Look for New York to get at this in earnest as we get closer to the November election. Marijuana Taxes The bills haven’t been finalized though and just like in New York, the taxation plan is a bone of contention.  New Jersey like New York never met a tax it didn’t like and we all understand that if the tax is too high, the illegal market will prevail.  I believe this is the ultimate test of politicians’ motivation.  For lawmakers in New Jersey to legalize marijuana just to curry favor or to get the tax revenue to spend on currying more favor, the tax rates will be high.  Then we will know the motivation to pass the law had absolutely nothing to do with crime or the illegal market.  If they keep taxes reasonable (enough to cover the state’s expenses and a little more), we’ll see a huge hit to the illegal market. Marijuana Dangers… 

Massachusetts and Colorado Legalization News

Massachusetts Legalization News  Very informative interview on Boston.com today for those of us that are following legalization news including the implementation of a recreational marijuana program in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts legalization status is that it is going very slowly and there are no labs licensed yet! One of the Commissioners on the newly created Cannabis Control Commission is very candid about the process and status. Shaleen Title, a long-time legalization advocate calls this her life’s work.  She is the only commissioner that actually voted for legalization.  It’s a must-read if you are trying to look into your crystal ball to see what’s going to happen in NY. I think its probably safe to say that all we have to do is look at Mass. and expect largely the same process in NY.  Check it out here. Colorado Legalization News Interesting case in Colorado where a large portion of sales by one marijuana company was via “looping” – like going through the 10 item or less line twice in a row.  People were buying the legal limit “per transaction” over and over again.  Police evidence shows one person making 35 trips in and out of the store in 5… 

Marijuana Legalization News in New York

Marijuana Legalization News in New York Today’s NY Times has some important Marijuana legalization news in New York today.  They report that the Governor today voiced his support for legalizing marijuana and citing a state Health Department report that favored legalization.   By all accounts it sounds like the Governor is signaling full support but indicating it will take some time to hammer out the details.  I think reading the tea leaves, there is no doubt that the state will legalize recreational marijuana within a year. So the time is now to get started thinking about your new career or thinking about taking a cannabis-focused college major or cannabis occupational training.  I wish I was 20 right now – I would take all the marijuana industry training I could, then I would work my butt off and get in on the ground floor of this new major industry in New York, learn the ropes in the most difficult state to do business in, save as much money as I can and then I would go to a more business friendly state and start my own marijuana business.  There is an awesome pathway here folks to start a new career…