By Adam Kain
UNITED STATES ELECTIONS (Nov. 5)
Elections held nationwide had varied results related to the Cannabis industry.
Voters in Portland, Maine, legalized adult-use Cannabis for residents 21 and older. The measure passed with about 70 percent of the vote, making Portland the first East Coast city to legalize adult-use Cannabis. Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said his department will continue to fine those in possession of Cannabis, but that the department has always seen regulating Cannabis use as a low priority. Possession of less than two and a half ounces of Cannabis is decriminalized in Maine.
Voters in Colorado approved a 15 percent excise tax and a 10 percent sales tax on adult-use Cannabis. The measures, approved nearly 2 to 1, go into effect Jan. 1, 2014 and are expected to bring in $70 million a year to be used for school construction and regulating pot sales.
Michigan voters in three cities — Lansing, Jackson and Ferndale — voted to decriminalize possession of up to one ounce of Cannabis for personal use. Police are to ignore the adult use of Cannabis in anyone 21 years or older.
MULVANE, KAN. (Nov. 6)
Fire It Up Kansas, a group working to promote the Cannabis industry, kicked off a billboard campaign with a digital billboard near the Kansas Star Casino south of Wichita.
The billboard states that Cannabis “is more civilized, and safer than alcohol, and has no harmful side effects.” The ad time was purchased from http://advertisingwichita.com and the owners of the board.
The digital ad, which is displayed for 10 seconds every 3 minutes, is visible to drivers on U.S. Interstate 35. The ad has drawn citizen and media interest from all over the conservative state, which is set to consider legalizing medical Cannabis in coming years.
Group president Mike Golden said the billboard is the biggest billboard in the state of Kansas and in the Midwest.
Sources: Mike Golden, President of Fire It Up Kansas
OLYMPIA, WASH. (Nov. 15)
The Washington State Liquor Control Board, along with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, announced that more than 200 pesticides will be allowed for use in the production, processing and handling of Cannabis sold through state-licensed stores.
Under Washington’s adult-use law, I-502, no private home growing is allowed so patients will be forced to buy the buds from licensed producers that may be covered in the pesticides. The law also calls for 25 percent taxation to be applied at the growing, processing, and retail levels amounting to a 75 percent tax, Cannabis with any of the 200 pesticides could run as low as $15 and as high as $50 a gram.
SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA (Nov. 15)
New College of Physicians and Surgeons rules say Saskatchewan doctors must keep a record of who they prescribe Cannabis to, and when.
The college’s council voted to pass a bylaw meant to steer Saskatchewan doctors clear of conflicts of interest and prevent the potential for specific physicians to prescribe Cannabis to too many patients. In addition to keeping a record of prescriptions, doctors must also draw up a written agreement describing what the Cannabis is to be used for and for how long. The prescribing doctor must also be treating the patient for the condition the medicinal Cannabis is meant to aid. Steps were taken because Health Canada, the nation’s health department, was removed from the medical Cannabis approval process in October. Health Canada will now focus on regulating producers and suppliers of marijuana.
DENVER METRO AREA (Nov. 18–21)
The world’s first licenses to sell adult-use Cannabis were granted and delivered to several Metro Denver area dispensaries and, in the same week, federal and local agents raided more than a dozen Denver Metro and Boulder dispensaries and two licensed home-growing operations.
Colorado’s Strainwise, which owns eight dispensaries in the Metro area, was granted the first three licenses to sell adult-use Cannabis when the law takes effect Jan. 1. At least one of those licenses, for Annie’s in Central City, was hand-delivered by the Chief of Police there, which shares a wall with Annie’s.
Days later, in the largest federal raid on Colorado Cannabusinesses since medical Cannabis was legalized, DEA and local agencies executed search and seizure warrants on numerous dispensaries in Colorado. Reports indicate busted windows and confiscated crops scooped out of the snow by front-end loaders and agents seizing records. Agents also raided two private residences. No arrests were made and no businesses shut down, but the raids were focused on ten target suspects.
Federal officials wouldn’t give specific reasons for the raids, other than to say one of eight federal concerns around marijuana have potentially been violated. Those concerns include trafficking marijuana outside of states where it has been legalized and money laundering.
The raids were conducted by Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service criminal investigations unit, the Denver Police Department and state and local law enforcement. It was reported the following day that the businesses were being investigated for a possible connection to Colombian drug cartels.
Sources: http://rt.com/usa/first-marijuana-store-opens-us-122/ http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24570937/feds-involved-raid-at-denver-area-marijuana#ixzz2lL9rBiTN