Indian police said on Saturday they had charged senior executives of Amazon's local unit under narcotics laws in a case of alleged marijuana smuggling via the online retailer. Police in the central Madhya Pradesh state arrested two men with 20 kilograms of marijuana on November 14 and found they were using the Amazon India website to order and further smuggle the substance in the guise of stevia leaves, a natural sweetener, to other Indian states.

State police said in a statement that executive directors of Amazon India were being named as accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act due to differences in answers in documents provided by the company in response to police questions and facts unearthed by discussion.

Police did not disclose how many executives were charged.

The police, who had previously summoned and spoken to Amazon executives in the case, estimate that about 1,000 kg of marijuana, worth roughly $148,000, was sold via Amazon.

In a statement to Insider an Amazon spokesperson said: "Amazon, as a matter of company policy, extends full cooperation to law enforcement agencies in the event of any bad actor operating on the Amazon.in marketplace. We have shared, and will continue to share information that law enforcement needs in their investigation of this case."

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Olga Sánchez Cordero, president of the Mexico Senate, expects rapid approval of recreational reform just south of the Rio Grande.

The discussion about cannabis reform, generally, if not of the recreational kind, has been bubbling just south of the Rio Grande since 2015 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of four individuals who had cultivated their own cannabis for personal use. The court was rather unambiguous about the same, literally ruling that cannabis prohibition violated the human right of free expression of a person’s personality.

That said, the legislative path to reform so far, has been rocky.

In June 2017, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a bill authorizing medical use. 

However, the Supreme Court was not done (and clearly believed that this law did not go far enough). On October 31, 2018, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the access to cannabis was a right, literally, of personhood and that cannabis prohibition was unconstitutional. 

Since then, forward enshrining of the decision into law has hit not only repeated ball drops but COVID. The court has also issued legal extensions to the lagging legislature, but the writing is on the wall. This year, in late June, the court spoke up yet again, striking down the cannabis law that had so far been passed and effectively decriminalizing recreational use. There can be no more delay. 

As a result, the president of the Mexican Senate, Olga Sánchez Cordero, believes that recreational reform will be finally passed into law as of December 2021.

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Mace says she turned to cannabis for relief after a traumatic life event

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., has introduced legislation that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and give states control over cannabis laws and regulations.

Speaking to Fox News about the bill, named the States Reform Act, Mace discussed her previous work on cannabis reform through the state House in South Carolina. Mace pointed to her support of the state's Compassionate Care Act, which would allow people with illnesses such as cancer or glaucoma to use non-smokable forms of pot.

Mace insisted Republicans are leading efforts across the country to pass cannabis reform and said the issue is "personal" for her after she turned to cannabis following a traumatic event in her life at a young age.
"I shared that I was raped," Mace told Fox News, describing the "physical, mental, and emotional" trauma she suffered from that event, which caused her to be prescribed anti-depressant medications. According to Mace, that medication worsened her "emotion and feelings of depression" and she turned to cannabis for relief.

"I did cannabis when I was going through this," Mace said. "Doing that really relieved some of the anxiety that I had and helped me get through some very tough times in my life. It was an extraordinarily difficult place for me to be. My world fell apart when that happened to me."

Mace says she can "feel it in my heart" when she hears similar stories from other people, including veterans who suffer from PTSD. 

"I feel that pain because I've been through similar pain," she said, referencing the "silent victims who don't have a way out."

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Police say more than two-dozen bags of marijuana were found in a Wantagh home.
 
According to police, the discovery happened following an investigation into a call about a domestic disturbance.
 
Police say when officers responded, they also found candy bars laced with mushrooms, cartridges of THC, and nearly $31,000 in cash.
The homeowner, Anthony Salina, was arrested on multiple drug charges.
Police say Salina also threatened his wife with a shotgun.
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What is likely the largest marijuana recall in Michigan's history is currently underway after the state's Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued a health and safety bulletin Wednesday evening for many products tested by Viridis Laboratories.

The agency said it has identified inaccurate and/or unreliable results of all marijuana products tested by Viridis Laboratories and Viridis North over a three-month period except for inhalable marijuana concentrate products such as vape carts, live resin and distillate.

The bulletin said products should be retested for the microbials compliance panel and consumers with weakened immune systems or lung disease are at the highest risk for health-related incidents such as aspergillosis, which is an infection caused by a common mold, suggesting there could be mold in the products.

Viridis representatives said they were working with officials to resolve the issues.

"While we strongly disagree with this decision and firmly stand by our test results, we are fully cooperating with the MRA and working closely with our customers to minimize interruptions and retest affected products at no cost," Greg Michaud, the CEO of Viridis Laboratories, said in an emailed statement.

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A federal raid on a household marijuana garden on tribal land in northern New Mexico is sowing uncertainty and resentment about U.S. drug enforcement priorities on Native American reservations, as more states roll out legal marketplaces for recreational pot sales.

In late September, Bureau of Indian Affairs officers confiscated nine cannabis plants from a home garden at Picuris Pueblo that was tended by Charles Farden, a local resident since childhood who is not Native American. The 54-year-old is enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program to ease post-traumatic stress and anxiety.

Farden said he was startled to be placed in handcuffs as federal officers seized mature plants laden with buds — an estimated yearlong personal supply.
New Mexico first approved the drug’s medical use in 2007, while Picuris Pueblo decriminalized medical pot for members in 2015. A new state law in June broadly legalized marijuana for adults and authorized up to a dozen home-grown plants per household for personal use — with no weight limit.

“I was just open with the officer, straightforward. When he asked what I was growing, I said, 'My vegetables, my medical cannabis,' ” Farden said of the Sept. 29 encounter. “And he was like, ‘That can be a problem.’ ”

The raid has cast a shadow over cannabis as an economic development opportunity for Indigenous communities, as tribal governments at Picuris Pueblo and at least one other reservation pursue agreements with New Mexico that would allow them to open marijuana businesses. The state is home to 23 federally recognized Native American communities. It's aiming to launch retail pot sales by April.

More than two-thirds of states have legalized marijuana in some form, including four that approved recreational pot in the 2020 election and four more by legislation this year. The U.S. government has avoided cracking down on them, even though the drug remains illegal under federal law to possess, use or sell.

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Party leaders in Germany’s incoming government coalition have reached an agreement to legalize marijuana nationwide.

The legalization legislation is expected to be introduced during the upcoming legislative session. It will also provide broader drug harm reduction services and restrict advertising of tobacco and alcohol, along with cannabis.

As it stands, personal possession of marijuana is decriminalized in Germany, and there is a medical cannabis program in place. But this forthcoming proposal would seek to establish a regulated market for adult-use marijuana.

The governing coalition—comprised of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens—said that it will be “introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops,” according to a translation of a multi-party working group report first noted by Funke Media and circulated by Der Spiegel.

The so-called “traffic light coalition” is making the case that regulating marijuana sales will help drive out the illicit market. That will be revisited four years post-implementation, when a review of the social impact of the reform will be required.

And while the lawmakers emphasized that the objective of the reform is not to boost tax revenue for the country, FDP said in its election manifesto that taxing cannabis like cigarettes could generate €1 billion annually.

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Defence asks that the accused be dismissed from the Canadian Armed Forces and demoted to the rank of private.

The defence and prosecution have made final submissions in the sentencing of Chelsea Cogswell, a bombardier who dosed soldiers with cannabis-infused cupcakes during a live-fire exercise in 2018. Cogswell, 28, was found guilty on nine charges in August , including one count of behaving in a disgraceful manner, which carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

Defence lawyer Ian Kasper argued that Cogswell should be dismissed from the Canadian Armed Forces and demoted to the rank of private, while the prosecution recommended Cogswell serves one year in jail, reports the Canadian Press .

The incident occurred at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick in July 2018, while members of the artillery unit were taking part in Exercise Common Gunner, a three-week-long combat training scenario. Cogswell was working the mobile canteen at the time.

In August, the court heard that eight members of the artillery unit were fed the cupcakes and experienced “dehydration, overheating, fatigue, confusion, dry mouth and paranoia.”

Prosecutor Maj. Max Reede read victim impact statements during the sentencing hearing this week.

“My consent was stripped from me,” wrote Lyann Lechman, per the Canadian Press . “As a person, our consent is one thing that we have to protect our well-being and to know that someone blatantly disrespected and abused that is horrifying. After this incident I find myself questioning the intent of my peers.”

Liam Jarbeau said the incident broke his trust in the chain of command at the school.

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When it comes to cannabis, states like California, Colorado and Oregon get most of the attention. But some of the nation’s largest marijuana companies are planting roots south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

“The South is the biggest frontier in cannabis,” says Jim Cacioppo, the CEO of Jushi, a marijuana company that has 26 dispensaries across Virginia, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois and Massachusetts. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Jushi has two dispensaries in Virginia but will open a total of six stores by 2023. His company’s stores are just outside of Washington, D.C. in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax. Cacioppo says that while California boasts the title of being the country’s largest marijuana market in terms of annual sales, he sees states like Virginia and Georgia as having the greatest growth potential.

“We view Virginia as one of the best licenses in cannabis,” Cacioppo says, explaining that his company has the exclusive right to sell weed legally in the D.C. suburbs, which has 2.5 million residents. “It’s the keystone of Jushi.”

Virginia is still a small medical market. But with a population of over 8.5 million people, it has the potential to be bigger than Colorado, which has 5.7 million residents and a $2.1 billion (annual sales) cannabis market.

Virginia launched medical sales at the end of 2020. Cacioppo says the upside hasn’t even started yet—Virginia is expected to launch its adult-use program by 2024.

“It has tremendous momentum,” he says. “When you go adult-use, sales could triple overnight.”

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Most people who live on the street or who are hooked on drugs need stability and purpose. They don’t need the government telling them what they can and cannot consume.

Recently, a Congresswoman sent a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to encourage them to allow people to use public housing despite their cannabis use — especially in states where use is legal.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the congresswoman who sent the letter, hopes that this would help people seeking public housing the freedom to consume a legal commodity in their state and still have shelter from the elements. Unfortunately, HUD Sec. Marcia Fudge, a Biden appointee, responded in a letter which Norton released to the public.

Unfortunately for people seeking public housing, it seems that the Biden Administration is going full “Soup Nazi” on the whole cannabis thing, despite them claiming that they are progressively working to reform cannabis laws.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development denies anyone who uses marijuana to live in assisted living facilities, even if it is for medical cannabis.

The problem with this position is that it seems to directly contradict all of the alleged “promises” made by the Biden Administration and seems to double down on the status quo. Of course, some people would say, “Well, it is the law!”
However, that is an excuse that within the current political climate won’t go far. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that cannabis has any impact on the moral nature of a user and to deny assisted living simply because of use seems to be arbitrary at best. Nonetheless, let’s take a closer look at the letter published by Norton.
 

Understanding the Spirit of the Letter

The HUD referred to the following statute as the reason why they “can’t” comply;

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The time has come for the government to normalize its relationship to cannabis, writes George Smitherman and Omar Khan.

The cannabis sector contributed $17 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the year ending July 2021. In the space of three years, adult-use and medical cannabis’ contribution to Canada’s GDP has grown to rival the dairy industry’s $20 billion GDP.

The growth shows no signs of slowing. Sales of legal cannabis products by licensed dispensaries will eclipse $4 billion on an annualized basis in 2021 and is projected to surpass $5 billion in 2022 . Illicit cannabis sales, brazenly marketed and distributed to Canadians, are estimated to be at least as big as the legal market (another $4 billion or so per year).

Compared to alcohol, Canadian cannabis sales have or will soon surpass the yearly retail sales of wine ($8 billion) or beer ($9.3 billion). It’s worth noting that, unlike beer or wine, all adult-use cannabis sold in Canada is produced in Canada, magnifying the impact of cannabis on Canada’s GDP.

 

Put another way for the politically inclined, the legal cannabis industry enjoys impressive scale and broad geographic distribution.

With these GDP and retail sales numbers, you’d expect that the Government of Canada would take notice of the potential of a rapidly growing cannabis industry to contribute to its social and economic agenda. Yet, the common refrain is that the government does not have an economic lens on the cannabis industry.

As a result, the federally licensed and regulated cannabis industry lacks fair access to various government programs and services available to almost all industry sectors, especially high-growth sectors such as cannabis.

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If these states do move forward with the legalization of adult use recreational cannabis, the fight for the end of nationwide cannabis prohibition could be reaching its finale.

The amount of states where people can walk into a dispensary and buy their favorite cannabis products, just like alcohol, have been steadily increasing over the course of the past decade.

Given the number of states that currently collect voter signatures in hopes of getting legalization on the ballot during the 2022 midterm elections, it seems as though the trend of legalization won’t be ending any time soon. Numerous states where the notion of legal marijuana was never considered a possibility, could introduce legalization of recreational cannabis as early as next year. Here are a few.

Florida

Known as one of the most conservative states in the union, to say it’s surprising to see how Florida’s stance on cannabis has changed over the years would be an understatement. According to a recent poll, adult recreational use of marijuana has the support of 64% of Florida voters. Fortunately for those who do support the sale and use of recreational cannabis in the state, there’s a current constitutional amendment legalizing adult use cannabis for adults who are 21 and older, and would allow for the home grow of 18 plants. In order for the amendment to reach voters on the 2022 ballot, they need to collect 891,000 valid signatures before February 1, 2022.

Ohio

Another state with a fairly conservative reputation that’s changed its tune on recreational cannabis legalization is the Buckeye State. Back in 2015, a previous ballot measure legalizing recreational cannabis, but restricting the cultivation and sales to a select few individuals failed. Research shows that 53% of Ohio voters would support the legalization of cannabis for recreational adult use, so it’s no surprise that the push to legalize it hasn’t ended with the failure of issue 3 in 2015.

In order for the ballot measure to reach voters in November 2022, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol needs over 130,000 valid signatures to present to the state legislature at the top of the year.

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Two men have been arrested following the discovery of an underground cannabis factory in south Armagh on Wednesday afternoon.

Suspected cannabis with an estimated street value of £36,000 and criminal assets believed to be valued at more than £20,000 were recovered during the search of a property in the Seafin Road area of Killeavy.

The men, aged 39 and 45, were arrested on suspicion of drug-related offences.

They have been released on police bail.

Police said their investigation into this "sophisticated operation" was ongoing.

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In South Dakota, among the most complex states when it comes to cannabis, localities are moving ahead on medical as broader reforms loom.

South Dakota might just be the most complicated cannabis state in the U.S. 

Last November, the state was the first in the nation where voters legalized for both medical and adult use on the same Election Day. But, since then, the adult use measure has remained under legal fire, while medical was allowed to proceed.

In January, Gov. Kristi Noem issued an executive order that stated that the initiative “violated the procedures set forth in the South Dakota Constitution.” And, in another first in the cannabis world, she wrote that the legal challenge was filed “upon my prior instruction.” That legal challenge has been kicked up to the state’s Supreme Court, which has yet to make a decision.

In the meantime, a legislative subcommittee has formed and met to take public comment. It has also heard from regulators and lawmakers in other states, like Colorado, as well as from stakeholders in law enforcement, local government, and the cannabis industry. The biggest news to come out of this committee this year was its vote in October in favor of advancing draft legislation to legalize adult use cannabis. 

Take a breath: all of this is happening as advocates again collect signatures to again put adult use on the ballot in 2022], given the uncertainty of progress in the legislature or a favorable Supreme Court ruling. 

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A Wade Hampton High School student was charged after bringing marijuana and a handgun to school Tuesday, according to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

Two students were acting “in a suspicious manner” just before 9 a.m., which caught the administrations’ attention.

According to the sheriff’s office, a 14-year-old student was speaking to the school administrators and the school resource officer about an unrelated issue when they pulled out marijuana. The officer then searched the student to find a handgun in their pocket.

Gun taken from student at Hughes Academy in Greenville 

The student was taken into custody. Deputies said they were not aware of any thearts being made.

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Several citizens spoke at the Nov. 9 meeting of the Essex Planning & Zoning Commission as its members continue to juggle two proposals related to cannabis facilities in town.

The first proposal is from an Essex resident, Roger Kern, whose text amendment would ban any type of cannabis facility. The second proposal has been developed by the commission for a temporary, six-month moratorium where no application would be considered, nor would any zoning permits be issued, related to cannabis.

No action was taken on either application, with the commission extending public hearings on both proposals to its Thursday, Dec. 9 meeting.

“It’s going to become the law of the land that we’re allowed to do this in the State of Connecticut,” said Steven Everly of Ivoryton. “If we want to push economic development elsewhere, I think that’s a mistake for the town.”There were mixed opinions from citizens regarding Kern’s proposal to ban cannabis in town. The commission received three pieces of correspondence in favor of his proposal while those attending the public hearing spoke against it.

Everly added that he does not support a moratorium.

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 Bills before the Michigan Legislature are looking to change regulations for medical marijuana caregivers, limiting how much marijuana they could grow.

Some customers are boycotting the major cannabis producers that back the legislation, which would lower the number of cannabis plants a caregiver may grow from 72 to 24.

Casey Kornoelje, the founder of Grand Rapids-based cannabis provisioner Farmhouse Wellness, opposes the legislation.

“For me, it would potentially cut the amount of cannabis that I could provide to my wife,” who has Crohn’s disease and for whom Kornoelje serves as caregiver, he said.

While he now sells medical and recreational marijuana at his store, he started as a caregiver, growing plants at home and providing them directly to patients for medical use.

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Under the current cannabis law in New York, licensing priority is given to women-owned enterprises and other marginalized groups affected by the War on Drugs.

New York’s cannabis program continues to produce novelties, with the most recent being a bill that would allow transgender and non-binary people to qualify as social equity applicants under the state’s cannabis law.

Senator Jeremy Cooney (D) presented the legislation in a bid to deal with an “unintended consequence” of the recreational marijuana law that would otherwise “force certain individuals from choosing between their gender identity and receiving priority for a license,” reported Marijuana Moment.

Under the current cannabis law in New York, licensing priority is given to women-owned enterprises and other marginalized groups affected by the War on Drugs.

The issue now concerns persons born biologically female and then transitioned or who identify as nonbinary. They would have to decide what to fill out on their application if they want to obtain equity benefits.

“This bill will include transgender and gender-nonbinary individuals in the social and economic equity plan giving them priority in licensing…Every New Yorker deserves the right to express and identify their gender as they choose,” the legislation says.

“The social equity aspect of the [Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act] is meant to uplift historically marginalized groups through economic opportunities in the cannabis industry and this bill furthers that effort,” it continues.

The legislation, filed on Friday, has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee for consideration.

The proposed bill comes some eight months after former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed recreational marijuana into law, making New York the 15th state to legalize recreational cannabis. During that time, the state announced several policy changes and updates with one of the most significant being its employee cannabis testing policy. In October, New York became the first state in the Union to prohibit employers from testing most employees for cannabis.

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A new bill introduced by a House Republican and strong earnings are causing big moves.

The U.S. cannabis industry remains one of the most interesting investing opportunities today. Although the companies still operate in a technically illegal business, most U.S. states have legalized cannabis, at least on a medical basis, and over two-thirds of U.S. citizens are pro-legalization.

Those numbers make it seem as if federal prohibition will be repealed at some point. Yet while many had thought action would occur earlier this year, cannabis legalization measures have stalled in Congress. With hot money pouring into U.S. cannabis stocks after Democrats took control of Congress in January, that money has since grown impatient and left the space throughout the spring and summer. No wonder the AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (NYSEMKT:MSOS), an ETF that owns most of the leading U.S. multistate operators (MSOs), is down 14.9% on the year and a stunning 42.6% from all-time highs set back in February.

But after a long slump, could these stocks be in for liftoff once again? Many cannabis stocks have surged this month, with MSOS up 14.6% just through the first two weeks of November.

A Republican legalization bill surfaces

Cannabis legalization is one of the rare issues that has bipartisan support, but the two parties have different preferred ways of implementing those measures. Democrats in the Senate released a draft proposal to legalize cannabis in July, but cannabis stocks sank on the news because many thought the proposals were too aggressive to pass. Mainly, high excise taxes up to 25%, with a large portion of those funds going to a social justice fund for communities of color, were thought to be elements unlikely to draw needed Republican support.

But on Nov. 5, Marijuana Moment picked up on a scoop that Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) was circulating a draft of her own legislation. Cannabis stocks climbed by double digits on the news, as the prospect for Republicans to join the congressional effort led to optimism over legalization.

But the unveiling of the bill was a "sell the news" event

Yet after a huge run in which several leading pot stocks were up 20%, 30%, or even 40% on the news of the proposal, most sold off when Mace's bill was unveiled two weeks later.

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Ontario’s Durham Region Police Service (DRPS) is still on the hunt for the sticky-fingered thief who absconded with cannabis products last month. The DRPS is hoping the public can provide a helpful assist in identifying the culprit.

The police released several images of the bandit this week. The as-yet-unidentified suspect was captured, at least on security footage, breaking and entering into Northern Helm Cannabis on Oct. 12 notes a police statement.

 Rolling up on what the police describe as “a little red BMX bike,” the thief broke into the shop in Courtice, Ont. at around 3 a.m. after throwing a rock through the storefront window.

Slipping into the store, the man described as thin and in his 20s made off with “numerous items,” the police say.

Wearing dark shoes, dark pants and two hoodies, the police point out that the first grey sweater had its hood up and the second was “a distinctive, dark Tommy Hilfiger branded hoodie with the logo down the arms.”

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