Arizona: Appellate Court Rules Cannabis Concentrates Are Not Protected Under State’s Medical Cannabis Access Law

Thursday, 05 July 2018

Phoenix, AZ: A ruling from the Arizona Court of Appeals has found that the possession of concentrated forms of cannabis resin is not protected by the state’s voter-initiated medical marijuana access law, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. The 2 to 1 decision upholds the two-and-one-half year prison sentence of a state-registered patient, Rodney Jones, for the possession of 0.05 ounces of hashish. The majority opined that the legal definition of marijuana in the AMMA “does not specifically include extracted resin” and that the legislature had previously “recognized hashish and marijuana as two distinct forms of cannabis. … [B]ut marijuana alone has been singled out for separate treatment under our states.”

Senators Approve Federal Legislation Authorizing Commercial Hemp Cultivation

Thursday, 05 July 2018

Washington, DC: Members of the US Senate have approved legislation to expand commercial hemp production. Provisions added by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to H.R. 2: The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the 2018 Farm Bill) amend federal regulations to further expand and facilitate state-licensed hemp production, research, and commerce. The language also for the first time amends the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 so that industrial hemp plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance. (See page 1182, Section 12608: ‘Conforming changes to controlled substances act.’) These provisions were initially introduced as stand-alone legislation, Senate Bill 2667: The Hemp Farming Act of 2018.

Vermont: Adult Use Marijuana Law Enacted

Thursday, 05 July 2018

Montpelier, VT: Legislation permitting adults to legally possess and grow set quantities of cannabis for their own personal use took effect on Sunday, July 1. Vermont joins Alaska, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington in legalizing the adult possession and use of marijuana. It is the first state to enact legalization via an act of the legislature rather than by the passage of a voter initiative. The new law, which Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed in January, legalizes the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, as well as the private cultivation of six marijuana plants (two mature and up to four immature). Those who cultivate marijuana for their own personal use may possess at home the total quantity of their harvest. The measure also imposes new civil penalties with regard to the consumption of cannabis while driving, and imposes additional penalties for those who operate a motor vehicle impaired with a minor in the vehicle.

North Dakota: Advocates Turn In Signatures For 2018 Adult Use Initiative

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Bismarck, ND: Proponents of a statewide ballot initiative to legalize the adult use of marijuana in North Dakota on Monday turned in nearly 19,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in an effort to place the measure before voters this November. State officials must certify 13,452 of those signatures in order to qualify the measure for the 2018 electoral ballot. The voter-initiated measure, organized by the grass-roots group Legalize North Dakota, legalizes the possession, use, and sale of cannabis, as well as the possession of marijuana paraphernalia, by those over the age of 21 and also expunges past marijuana convictions.

Study: Medical Cannabis Access Associated With Significant Reduction In Prescription Opioid Use

Thursday, 19 July 2018

San Diego, CA: The enactment of medical cannabis access laws is associated with significant reductions in prescription opioid use among Medicaid enrollees, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Addiction. Investigators with the University of California at San Diego assessed the relationship between medical cannabis legalization and opioid use among Medicaid enrollees over a period of 21 years (1993 to 2014).

New Jersey: State to Temporarily Suspend Marijuana Prosecutions

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Trenton, NJ: The state’s Attorney General has called on county and municipal prosecutors to suspend marijuana-related prosecutions until early September. In a letter obtained Wednesday by NJ Advance Media, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal wrote that “all municipal prosecutors in New Jersey seek an adjournment until September 4, 2018, or later, of any matter involving a marijuana-related offense pending in municipal court” so that his office could develop “appropriate guidance” for prosecutors. A working group is expected to take up the issue this summer.

Harris Poll: Majority of Americans Want Marijuana Legalized

Thursday, 02 August 2018

Rochester NY: Eighty-five percent of Americans believe that marijuana “should be legalized for medical use,” and 57 percent of respondents endorse regulating it for anyone over the age of 21, according to national survey data compiled by Harris Insight & Analytics. Among younger respondents (those ages 18 to 44), 68 percent agree that cannabis should be legal. Most respondents (57 percent) say that legalizing the pla