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Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife News Network.

Marijuana funding to help create youth Community space in Glenwood Springs

The Glenwood Springs Community Center is seeking more marijuana tax funding to maintain the facility as a “third space” for underserved or at-risk youth.  

If a young person’s first place is their home and their second place is their school, the Parks and Recreation Community Center wants to become a third place for teens and preteens. 

“Support groups I think are the biggest one which is really where this program started out with,” said Brian Smith, Parks and Recreation director. “It’s ‘How do we help at-risk youth, those teens (who) are interested in mental-health issues, school support, navigating through social experiences and identity, buddy connections’ — all those kinds of things.”

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Businesses in Thailand join hands to promote Hemp industry in Asia

Private businesses in Thailand are looking to network with hemp suppliers in order to capitalize on the plant’s industrial and medical potential.

The Thai Industrial Hemp Trade Association (TIHTA) recently signed a cooperation agreement with 12 manufacturing industries to showcase innovations and technology related to the hemp industry later this year.

TIHTA President Pornchai Patthaminthara said this development will promote networking and allow for better access to quality raw materials.

The agreement will also contribute to product research and development, knowledge sharing, improved production standards and planning, and forward management of prices.

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Mayor and county sheriff speak out against Recreational Marijuana

SIOUX FALLS - As Sioux Falls officials highlighted their public safety concerns today, some also broached the topic of recreational marijuana.

South Dakota voters will head to the polls in November to decide on the issue with Initiated Measure 27, but if it was up to Mayor Paul TenHaken or Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead, cannabis would not be legal beyond medical use.

“If we think that legalizing marijuana in the fall is going to lead to a safer community then we have another thing coming,” TenHaken said.

There are three “myths” people will hear coming from the IM 27 camp, TenHaken said.

One is that South Dakota prisons are full of marijuana convictions, which is not accurate, TenHaken said.

“The second is that crime will decreased because we will have legalized a drug that’s caused drug rips and so forth,” TenHaken said. “The absolute opposite happens, and I share that because the data supports that.”

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Minnesota medical marijuana company sues state, seeks to sell some of its edibles on open market

Vireo Health argues its products are "chemically identical" to THC edibles derived from legal hemp. 

Minnesota's new hemp-derived THC edible law is facing its first major legal challenge from one of the state's medical cannabis companies, which claims it should be able to sell its "chemically identical" marijuana edibles on the open market.

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Momentum building for legalization of Recreational Marijuana in Hawaii

There's a huge push underway to allow the recreational use of marijuana, even though the drug is still illegal under federal law.

A group of state leaders, dispensaries and patients are crafting a plan to establish a system for the Legislature to consider next session.

And more lawmakers are supporting legalization than ever before as a way to diversify the economy and bring in more revenue for the state.

"We are closer than ever moving forward in that direction," said Rep. Ryan Yamane, (D) Mililani. "We've always heard about if we legalize marijuana it would bring hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy." 

According to the Hawaii Cannabis Industry Association, medical marijuana brought in an estimated $50 million in annual sales last year and more than $2 million in state general excise taxes.

But those against legalization fear the drug will lead to more drug addiction and crime on the streets.

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A complete guide to Spotlight PA’s investigations of Pennsylvania’s flawed medical marijuana program

HARRISBURG - A series of investigative stories from Spotlight PA this year has uncovered serious flaws in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program and prompted calls for change from doctors, patients, industry leaders, and policymakers.

The coverage — based on months of reporting, dozens of interviews, and thousands of pages of public records — has revealed misleading or dangerous tactics by cannabis businesses, unequal advertising rules, legal gray areas for workers and employers, and inconsistent enforcement by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration.

Here’s a look at the reporting, its impact, and the issues we’re keeping an eye on:

“Unproven, Unsafe”

A first-of-its-kind review of more than 60 websites revealed that some cannabis companies made statements that multiple health policy and addiction treatment experts called misleading, incorrect, or even dangerous. Spotlight PA’s analysis focused on claims companies made about using cannabis to treat opioid addiction.

Thousands of pages of records obtained by Spotlight PA also showed that state regulators do little to ensure cannabis dispensaries, which require a permit from the state, make accurate medical claims on their websites. Meanwhile, companies that offer to help patients obtain a medical marijuana card operate with little to no oversight.

Impact: One dispensary removed incorrect information from its website after Spotlight PA contacted the company in December.

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There is a way to get a Marijuana related conviction cleared in PA

Conviction for using weed following you around? Check out pardon program.

Filling out an application online as part of a one-time expedited process through the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons takes a few minutes, but it can change a lifetime.

The pardon is for select minor, non-violent marijuana criminal convictions.

More than 1,600 people have already applied for a pardon through the PA Marijuana Pardon Project.

"This is an opportunity for individuals who are seeking to move forward with their lives to get a second chance," Gov. Tom Wolf said in a media release. "I encourage anyone who may be eligible to apply today."

The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons is accepting applications through Friday, Sept. 30. The online application for an accelerated pardon through this one-time project is available at pa.gov/mjpardon. Once a person submits their application, they will be contacted if any necessary follow-up is needed.

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Galloway authorizes new Marijuana Standards

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP - The Township Council authorized a report on Sept. 13 that lays out new, local standards on the growing marijuana industry.

The standards, which concern marijuana cultivation, come after residents raised concerns about potential odor from a proposed cultivation facility.

Township Redevelopment Attorney M. James Maley Jr. said that Galloway was a pioneer in developing the new standards. He noted how new the industry was and said officials were trying to ensure it benefited the entire township.

“We set it up in terms of a redevelopment process as a way to allow the township to have more involvement in the specifics of these businesses, because they’re new, we’re not used to them,” Maley said. “Through a redevelopment agreement, it will give us a basis to make sure that the businesses run in a way that works for all of the community.”

 
The resolution said that the “Galloway Township Cannabis Operation Standards for Indoor Cultivation,” as the report is called, was written after months of research, delving into scholarship on marijuana cultivation, national association publications and comparable marijuana regulatory regimes.

The report principally deals with heating, ventilation and air conditioning, particularly as it concerns air quality and odor.

The Blue Heron Pines Homeowners’ Association spearheaded the effort to have this process implemented, with its representatives raising concerns about the impact marijuana businesses could have on the community.

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How federal prohibition has ruined legal marijuana in California

Your series on the effects of California legalizing recreational marijuana in 2016 missed one of the biggest points of all — continued federal prohibition.

"California has always produced far more cannabis than Californians consume. Oregon as well. That’s because these are export markets. Legalizing weed in California only legalized the in-state part of the business, which was less than 25%.

Until the federal government legalizes cannabis, there will still be incentive for illegal cultivation. Until California can enter into interstate commerce agreements to legally ship licensed cannabis across state lines, legal businesses will continue to fail, the illegal grows will continue to thrive, and so will the corruption and bad actors.

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Arizona Cannabis Company is trailblazer in Eco-friendly Practices

The Pharm, a 320,000-square-foot Dutch glass greenhouse grow operation and cannabis brand based in Phoenix, Arizona, is proud to announce significant investments in eco-friendly production standards that prove that you don’t have to pay more for a premium product that respects the plant, the planet and the people.

Harnessing the power of the ample Arizona sun at their Willcox grow facility, The Pharm also exclusively utilizes eco-friendly growing practices, such as using an underground geothermal well to naturally heat water, recycling runoff water, and composting organic waste to keep energy use low and limit environmental impact.

Plus, The Pharm’s state-of-the-art R&D and highly-trained production teams ensure that each strain is cared for in the most natural way possible, maximizing flavors, taste and quality, while maintaining high yields and strict eco-efficiency standards. All of which combines to make The Pharm the leader in high-quality, affordable and sustainably-grown cannabis.

“Being located here in Willcox is critical to our sustainability,” says Charles Crum, a Cultivation Quality Manager with The Pharm. “We have lots of sun which the plants love, but it’s also a cooler climate thanks to the higher elevation, which creates the ideal growing conditions of a lot of light without too much heat.

Eco-efficiency is at the heart of our operation because we already have these great elements at hand: sun, soil, well water, and very little electricity required.”

This investment also has consumer-facing benefits, as The Pharm partnered with One Tree Planted to put the planet first, one seedling at a time, by planting one new tree with every One Tree Planted stamped product purchase, reaching the goal of planting 200,000 trees by the end of 2022.

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Police Recruits in this city will no longer be disqualified for past Weed use

New Orleans Police Department says that police recruits who have used marijuana within the past year are not automatically disqualified from becoming cops.

This week, the New Orleans Police Department made a change in their policy as a way of attracting new police officers. While historically, NOPD recruits were disqualified if they admitted to using marijuana, on Monday, the department unanimously agreed to relax this policy.

This marks a significant moment, representing just how much the city has changed in a short span of time. A few years ago, the justice system in New Orleans was handing out long prison sentences for marijuana possession.

While the change in the stance of the NOPD is significant, it’s still not a pro-weed organization. NOLA.com explains that the new policy makes it clear that new recruits won’t be disqualified over marijuana use within the past year, but they still must pass a drug test before getting the job. If accepted, officers must not use drugs while in the force.

New Orleans is currently facing a low number of police officers and high levels of crime rate. This crisis was prompted by the pandemic, where the department reported having under 1,000 cops for the first time in decades. In the case of crime, homicides have soared 141% over the past years.

New Orleans currently has the nation’s highest level of homicides, with 52 homicides per 100,000 residents.

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Hemp Fiber Market Rising at rate of 6.90% in the Forecast Period

The hemp fiber market is expected to witness market growth at a rate of approximately 6.90% in the forecast period of 2021 to 2028 and is expected to reach USD 0.51 billion by 2028.

Data Bridge Market Research report on hemp fiber market provides analysis and insights regarding the various factors expected to be prevalent throughout the forecast period while providing their impacts on the market’s growth. The rise in the awareness regarding the benefits of hemp is escalating the growth of hemp fiber market.

The product is utilized in the processing and manufacturing of various products such as paper, textile, insulation and construction material, personal care products, nutraceutical, bio-plastics and bio-fuel. It is mostly grown food and beverage and non-food based products with no use of toxic chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides.

The rise in inclination towards natural organic products over pharmaceuticals among customers across the globe acts as one of the major factors driving the growth of hemp fiber market.

The increase in demand for hemp fibers in various industries such as automotive, construction, food and beverage, personal care and textile especially in emerging regions and rise in the investment for the production of hemp-based products accelerate the hemp fiber market growth.

The growth in awareness among population regarding the therapeutic properties of the product and the low prices of hemp encouraging farmers to diversify their crop options further influences the hemp fiber market.

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Congressman says ending Cannabis testing could help solve Labour Disputes

Removing mandatory drug tests for railroad workers would encourage more people to apply for positions and offer employees more security

A congressman from Oregon claims that ending cannabis testing might help resolve the increase in disputes between railroad workers and their employees, which could have ramifications for the entire U.S.

Representative Earl Blumenauer discussed the issue with Washington Journal on Sept. 15, a clip of which was posted by C-SPAN, noting the railroad worker deal is “welcome news” and the “situation that the workers faced was really intolerable.”

While a temporary deal between unions and railway companies has been reached, workers reportedly remain upset over their work conditions. Over the years, employees argue they have been losing benefits and job security, resulting in a tense environment that has led to issues in the supply chain.

Blumenauer said that removing mandatory drug tests could be a part of the solution. Doing so would encourage more people to apply for these positions and would give some job security to their employees.

 

“A lot of these shortcomings in terms of the supply chain are that people do not qualify for the jobs because they’ve used marijuana sometime in the last six weeks, which doesn’t affect their ability to do their job, but it throws them out of the consideration,” he said.

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BUSINESS Denver City Council considers changes to Marijuana Rules in effort to bolster Delivery

Currently, only one in 20 Denver dispensaries offer delivery services.

DENVER - Denver City Council will consider a proposal Monday to drastically cut license fees for marijuana delivery services and extend -- forever -- a requirement that delivery company owners come from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

The current "social equity" mandate is set to end in 2024, but the city aims to call the bluff of dispensaries waiting until then to establish their own delivery services rather than rely upon the existing businesses. 

 

"It is easy to see that Denver preventing stores from doing their own delivery so social equity businesses have the first crack at this business type is resulting in the industry choosing profit over supporting more equitable access to the industry," Department of Excise and Licenses spokesperson Eric Escudero said.

He said only one in 20 Denver dispensaries offer delivery services. That's compared to 80% of stores in Aurora, where the dispensaries can do their own delivery.

Denver delivery driver Michael Diaz-Rivera, owner of Better Days Delivery, said his company would likely not make it without city council intervention. He currently averages about five orders a day, but needs more than a dozen to break even.


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California becomes 7th State to protect Workers who smoke Marijuana off-the-clock

It along with another bill were meant to "unwind California's failed history of cannabis prohibition," according to Newsom's office.

CALIFORNIA, USA — With a swipe of his pen, Gov. Gavin Newsom made California the seventh state to protect workers who smoke marijuana while off-the-clock.

The bill was among a series of cannabis-related bills that expanded the legal market and addressed harms from past cannabis bans.

“For too many Californians, the promise of cannabis legalization remains out of reach,” said Governor Newsom. “These measures build on the important strides our state has made toward this goal, but much work remains to build an equitable, safe and sustainable legal cannabis industry.

I look forward to partnering with the Legislature and policymakers to fully realize cannabis legalization in communities across California.”

 Assembly member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) authored AB 2188. It protects workers from employment discrimination based on their use of cannabis while off-the-clock.


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Forget Croptober. Here Comes Crashtober.

With major cannabis companies posting massive losses and investor capital drying up, the fall of fail may be upon us.

Like California fire season, “Croptober”—the term for the annual flood of sungrown cannabis entering the market during the fall harvest and the subsequent price shock, as supply on hand far outstrips demand—is now a yearlong phenomenon. 

But this year aims to be worse for everyone, as October is due to bring bad tidings for c-suite types and investors in Big Weed. With the third quarter closing Sept. 30 and the next earnings reports for publicly traded companies due beginning Oct. 15, “Croptober” is on track to be “Crashtober,” the autumn of major cannabis companies’ serious problems.

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Cannabis-friendly Hotels target high-end Travelers

Though the cannabis legalization movement in the U.S. has spawned plenty of "bud and breakfasts" and weed-friendly, budget hotels, a handful of boutique hoteliers are targeting the high-end cannabis traveler - no pun intended.

Expansion at the sector's more premium end comes as the number of Americans interested in cannabis-related travel has swelled, according to Brian Applegarth, founder of the Cannabis Travel Association and Cultivar Brands, a strategic marketing agency specializing in the cannabis industry.

In early 2020, just prior to the pandemic, Cultivar partnered with MMGY Travel Intelligence to analyze the burgeoning cannabis traveler segment. They discovered that 29% of all active leisure travelers in the U.S. could be identified as being part of a growing "cannabis-motivated travel audience."

Findings from a recent pandemic-era survey, released this summer, indicate that the size of that audience has increased to 37% of all active leisure travelers, with Gen Z and millennial travelers, in particular, reporting overwhelming interest in engaging in at least one cannabis-related activity while on vacation.

"There's also this sophisticated kind of connoisseur" that's emerging, said Applegarth. "And the data shows, if you look at the median and mean household incomes, the cannabis-interested audience has a very compelling profile when it comes to disposable income."

California leads the way

The trend is being led by properties in California, both an early adopter of relaxed marijuana laws and the nation's top grower of cannabis.

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Top 5 most popular types of Marijuana Packaging

Here are some of the most popular and noteworthy approaches to weed packaging today to help you get a sense of how far this simple afterthought has evolved into a deciding factor in the industry.

Marijuana used to come in little, difficult to open yet easy to rip baggies. If the supplier happened to be in a festive mood, maybe the bag had some trees or smiley faces on it. Times sure have changed.

With the major shifts in marijuana legalization and production over the last decade, it’s easy to forget the old days when it was illegal and there were no frills involved in the packaging.

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Midwest marijuana: Of the 2 local states where recreational weed is legal, Michigan outpaces Illinois in many areas

 

“Pure Michigan” may evoke visions of beaches and cherry pie to some, but for cannabis consumers, it means clouds of smoke and bargains on weed.

The state’s brand is clear in the online social media site Reddit, which features a page dedicated to Illinois marijuana users — who often make longing references to Michigan’s cannabis scene.

“Why can’t Illinois be like Michigan?” wrote one commentator.

“Never shopping in IL again,” wrote another.

“Appreciate the hospitality in Michigan. Nothing even close to this good in IL.”

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Quebec ban on homegrown Cannabis Plants unconstitutional, lawyer tells Supreme Court

It's up to province to regulate how cannabis is consumed, says lawyer for Quebec.

In front of a packed courtroom in Quebec City, the Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments Thursday on the constitutionality of a Quebec law that forbids people from growing cannabis plants for personal use.

Janick Murray-Hall is challenging the ban on the grounds that it is unconstitutional and that it directly contradicts the federal Cannabis Act. Passed in 2018, the federal law makes it legal for Canadians to cultivate up to four plants for personal use.

"We seem to be putting aside the existence of this right to grow," Murray-Hall's lawyer Maxime Guérin told the nine Supreme Court justices.

"There's an opposition between the federal position and the provincial position."

Guérin argued that the Quebec ban goes against the federal government's objective to decriminalize cannabis consumption at home.

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