President Trump's Attorney General nominee, a "law and order" conservative who previously had the job in the George H.W. Bush administration, said he wouldn't use federal resources to go after state legal marijuana businesses during his confirmation hearing.
Barr said he would not "upset settled expectations," but is not happy about the current clash between state and federal law.
“I think the current situation is untenable and really has to be addressed,” Barr said. “We either should have a federal law that prohibits marijuana everywhere—which I would support myself ‘cause I think it’s a mistake to back off on marijuana—however, if we want a federal approach, if we want states to have their own laws, then let’s get there and let’s get there the right way.”
The status quo, Barr said, is sowing disrespect for the rule of law.
For more, see Buzzfeed.
A document based on meetings with lawmakers and the Barr hearings, written and circulated by Ken Bazinet, of strategic forecasting firm Collective Consulting, says Barr would represent "little or no practical change" from former AG Jeff Sessions.
Despite some predictions to the contrary, Bazinet does not expect Trump to make federal legalization a priority.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) predicts the state will legalize REC this year, but there are lots of questions in the meantime.
The questions include social use, taxes, regulations and the other usual stuff but on a vast scale.
“There does seem to be this air of inevitability,” state Sen. James Skoufis (D), said. “But we need to make sure we do it right.”
For more see Cannabis Wire.
Gannett explains how a criminal case involving two former employees of MED company Vireo Health, accused of smuggling $500,000 worth of MED in an armed vehicle from Minnesota to New York, complicates New York's REC debate.
The short explanation is attorney's for the defense argue New York and Minnesota allow interstate transfers of MED between the same corporate entity. [Editorial aside: First time we've heard that one, and it would actually complicate things everywhere.]
Coming to terms with the inevitable, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) unenthusiastically called for REC legalization.
65. A Very Canadian Pot Scandal with Jesse Staniforth
Jesse Staniforth, Editor of WeedWeek Canada, updates Alex and Donnell on breaking Canadian stories. There is no lack of scandal: Cannabis giant Canopy Growth fired founder and CEO Bruce Linton and CannTrust, a major licensed producer, is estimated to lose C$350 Million for ignoring the law. New regulations limiting THC in edibles exacerbate the over-packaging crisis. The country continues to battle the illicit market which is now also available online and is known by the cool name "MOMS" (mail order marijuana sites). Plus, Alex and Donnell discuss Jay-Z's partnership with Caliva.
Social use in Vegas stumbled over questions about whether cannabis lounges should also be allowed to serve alcohol. A Vegas council inserted the alcohol measure to ensure these establishments would be viable businesses, but it has run into opposition from police, who are concerned about road safety.
Cura, the Oregon-based parent of Select Oil is suing competitor Bloom Farms for $10M, accusing the California brand of using anonymous social media feeds to damage Cura by surfacing sexual assault allegations against Cura investor and former CEO Nitin Khanna.
Bloom CEO Michael Ray did not explicitly deny the allegations, calling it a free speech issue. 🌉WeedWeek California has more.
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The new anti-pot book Tell Your Children by former N.Y. Times reporter Alex Berenson has revived the debate over cannabis's safety, in particular the more powerful pot products available today relative to a generation ago.
The Marshall Project hosted a fascinating virtual roundtable between Berenson, Stanford Professor Keith Humphreys, NYU Professor Mark A.R. Kleiman, and Drug Policy Alliance head Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno.
Humphreys distinguished between "old cannabis" and "new cannabis." "Almost all our research is on old cannabis;" he said. "By definition any study asking 'What does cannabis consumption do over 10 years' is a study of old cannabis."
“Further, the civil rights issues around marijuana legalization are far more complicated than the media or politicians would like them to be. Yes, marijuana arrests disproportionately fall on minorities, especially the black community. But marijuana’s harms also disproportionately fall on the black community. Black people are more likely to develop cannabis use disorder. They are also more likely to develop schizophrenia—and much more likely to be perpetrators and victims of violence. Given marijuana’s connection with mental illness and violence, it is reasonable to wonder whether the drug is partly responsible for those differentials.”
The Atlantic asks, "If Legal Marijuana Leads to Murder, What's Up in the Netherlands?"
Vox calls Berenson's book, "essentially Reefer Madness 2.0."
At the N.Y. Times, pediatrician and health policy expert Dr. Aaron E. Carroll writes on the right way to do MED research.
A new study found even a small amount of marijuana use can change the teenage brain.
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US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is deporting permanent residents with cannabis offenses. Cannabis Wire has the story of Sothy Kum, 44, who arrived here decades ago as a refugee, has a wife and young daughter here,and was recently deported after marijuana offenses.
“I never in a million years thought he could get deported for something so stupid,” [his wife] Lisa told Cannabis Wire. “I mean, we obviously know it’s against the law, especially in Wisconsin. But to be deported and torn away from the rest of your family forever? It just doesn’t make sense.”
Willamette Week investigates a new product called the G2 CannaMold, a make your own cannagar kit. Released by California outfit Purple Rose Supply, the mold shapes weed into what writer Alison Gootee calls "the most egregious cannabinoid delivery system to hit the market in recent years."