NATIONAL

Interesting article from the NYT , thanks to Andrew Sacks of SWD for the heads up

States Keep Saying Yes to Marijuana Use. Now Comes the Federal No.

 

In a national vote widely viewed as a victory for conservatives, last year’s elections also yielded a win for liberals in eight states that legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use. But the growing industry is facing a federal crackdown under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has compared cannabis to heroin.

A task force Mr. Sessions appointed to, in part, review links between violent crimes and marijuana is scheduled to release its findings by the end of the month. But he has already asked Senate leaders to roll back rules that block the Justice Department from bypassing state laws to enforce a federal ban on medical marijuana.

That has pitted the attorney general against members of Congress across the political spectrum — from Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, to Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey — who are determined to defend states’ rights and provide some certainty for the multibillion-dollar pot industry.

“Our attorney general is giving everyone whiplash by trying to take us back to the 1960s,” said Representative Jared Huffman, Democrat of California, whose district includes the so-called Emerald Triangle that produces much of America’s marijuana.

More at link above

 

HAWAII

Many  in Hawaii are asking why it is taking so long to get MMJ programme up and running

The West Hawaii Today writes,

Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of Hawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensaries being allowed to open, but the industry has still not been able to get off the ground.

Of the eight dispensary licensees, all but two have received state approval to begin growing cannabis, and at least three have marijuana ready to sell.

The dispensaries haven’t opened because the state Department of Health hasn’t certified any of the three laboratories — PharmLabs Hawaii, Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii and Steep Hill Labs — that will test the marijuana’s potency and purity. The DOH said it is still conducting validation studies with the labs and expects to certify them this summer.

The delays have been frustrating for both the dispensaries and patients.

“Everyone’s trying their best and working their hardest to build this industry, including the Department of Health. However, it has been a year, and it has been financially extremely taxing,” said Helen Cho, director of integrated strategy for Aloha Green Holdings Inc., one of the three Oahu dispensaries that is ready to open. “If the delays continue for much longer, this industry may not have a fair chance of flourishing. If this goes on for a few more months, the financial hole that we’re in may be too deep for us to recover from.”

Oahu’s Aloha Green Holdings, Maui Grown Therapies and Pono Life Sciences have cannabis ready to sell, while Manoa Botanicals LLC, Cure Oahu and Green Aloha Ltd. on Kauai have received state approval to grow pakalolo. Lau Ola LLC and Hawaiian Ethos on the Big Island are still building their production centers.

“It’s unfortunate it’s taking this long because it’s really depriving people who need the medicine,” said Thayne Taylor, a 66-year-old medical marijuana patient on Kauai. “If there’s no access, that means there’s no variety of products and no education. It’s all about safety as well. There are companies right now that have spent millions and have still not been able to open. It’s really a disappointment and really a shame.”

July 15, 2016, the date dispensaries were allowed to open, was never “a realistic date,” said Manoa Botanicals CEO Brian Goldstein.

Full report at http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/yearlong-delay-frustrates-local-medical-marijuana-industry

MICHIGAN

Campaign Funding for Michigan Legalization Led by Tobacco Store Chain

The Detroit Free Press is also running the story

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/07/16/marijuana-legalization-michigan/481154001/

WASHINGTON

2017 Legislative Fact Sheets Now Available
Fact sheets detailing new alcohol and marijuana related laws from the 2017 legislative session are now available on the Liquor and Cannabis Board’s website. Where available/relevant the fact sheets also contain information about the agency’s process to implement these changes. If you have additional questions please contact Customer Service at (360) 664-1600.

2017 Legislation