Title: Jeff Sessions Hates Weed But Cannabis Lawyers Are Ready to Fight Back
Author: Merry Jane
Date: November 2017
Extract: Mitchell Kulick and Bryan Meltzer are attorneys at the New York-based law firm Feuerstein Kulick. Both lawyers specialize in cannabis law, and during a phone call with MERRY JANE, they seemed unfazed by Sessions’ prohibitionist statements. “If [the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment] doesn’t make it into the budget, that’s going to be a problem,” says Meltzer. “But I don’t think we’re ready to say the House leadership purposely ignored it because they’re hostile to cannabis. They knew it would be extended because the Senate already put it forward.”
Sessions is “definitely no friend of cannabis,” adds Kulick, “but the reality is he’s limited by a number of other external constraints.”
Title: State Colleges Now Teaching Cannabis, and Harvard Is Playing Catch-Up
Date: 2 November 2017
Extract: With cannabis legalization spreading rapidly both within the US and abroad, job-seekers have been increasingly interested in academic programs geared toward landing a job in the emerging cannabis industry. It’s sensible enough. More than half of all US states in have legalized medicinal cannabis, and eight and Washington, DC, have legalized adult use. As we reported earlier this year, those legal cannabis markets support nearly 150,000 full-time jobs as of 2017. The green rush is real.
Title: More Jobs in Cannabis Than In Manufacturing? It’s Very Likely By 2020
Author: Medical Marijuana.com
Date: 28 October 2017
Extract: “To put this in perspective, there are now more marijuana industry workers than there are bakers and massage therapists in the United States,” reads the report.The types of jobs created by the cannabis industry include plant-touching businesses like at the following:
- Medical marijuana dispensaries
- Recreational marijuana retailers
- Infused product manufacturers
- Cannabis wholesale cultivators
- Testing labs
The market also creates new growth and employment opportunities for ancillary companies, which don’t directly handle the plant but support the industry. This includes:
- Professional services firms
- Software and tech companies
- Security services
- Vaporizer manufacturers
- Legal services
- Cultivation equipment businesses
Title: What’s Happening on Capitol Hill? Part 4: Banking & Tax Reform
Author: Cannabis Industry Journal
Date: 2 November 2017
Extract: CIJ’s Brian Blumenfeld completes his series on federal reform proposals with a review of the cannabis banking and tax bills currently pending in Congress.
Title: Maine’s Gov Vetoes Marijuana Bill
Author: CNN Money (Thankyou, Andrew Sacks, SWD For the Tip)
Date: 3 November 2017
Extract: Paul LePage said one reason he vetoed the bill is because the federal government prohibits cannabis. “Until I clearly understand how the federal government intends to treat states that seek to legalize marijuana, I cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine,” he said, in a letter to state lawmakers. “We need assurances that a change in policy or administration at the federal level will not nullify those investments.” The bill passed the Maine Senate with a veto-proof majority, but not the House. Lawmakers will meet on Monday and have an opportunity to override LePage’s veto. Friday was the last day for LePage to veto bills to regulate the sale of marijuana. Erik Altieri, spokesman for the pro-legalization organization NORML, said LePage’s veto “is just the latest in a line of anti-democratic attacks coming from his office and his stonewalling will only ensure the prolonged existence of a criminal black market in Maine and deny the state coffers of needed tax revenue.”
In case you missed it:
Governor LePage vetoed the marijuana bill passed by the legislature last week. If that happens, we need your help encouraging your state senators and representatives to override that veto.
These are some of the reasons MPRM supports LD 1650, an Act to Amend the Marijuana Legalization Act:
* It protects minors, with prohibitions on advertising to minors; mandates childproof packaging; requires businesses (and signage) be cited 1000 feet from schools; bans edibles that include additives or are shaped in a way to increase the attractiveness to minors; bans internet sales and delivery service; moratorium on social clubs until June 2019.
* It protects consumers, with limits on THC per serving; limits on servings per package; mandatory testing; strict packaging and labeling requirements.
* It creates strong local control, similar to alcohol- it requires towns to affirmatively “opt-in” to the legalization of marijuana; it allows towns to regulate odor, signage, security, etc.; it clarifies that an individual must be in possession of a conditional state license before they can seek municipal approval/licensure.
During the special session, the legislature passed LD 1650, an Act to Amend the Marijuana Legalization Act. After spirited debated on both sides, the bill passed both chambers, although not by the two-thirds needed to guarantee overcoming a veto or to enact the legislation immediately.
The Governor vetoed the amended Marijuana Legalization Act this afternoon; it will require two-thirds of present members in each chamber to override the governor’s veto (details above). Governor LePage, and his administration, has been removed from the bill drafting process, and just last week he introduced legislation that would put a further moratorium on the adult-use program. The legislature returns on Monday to vote to override the veto.
If the legislature is unable to override the veto, Maine’s adult-use program will be governed by the referendum passed by the voters last fall. In that case, the adult-use market will be a much less regulated space, which not only violates Cole Memorandum guidelines but threatens to bring increased scrutiny, if not enforcement, in both the adult and medical industries in Maine.
While advocates argue the original language grants the responsible agency the appropriate authority to structure the adult-use market, the lack of guidance around edibles, delivery services, testing, marketing to minors, public health initiatives, insufficient tax revenue, and a myriad of other issues not only creates a herculean task for regulators to create the new market, it features unclear language that will allow the gray and black markets to continue to thrive.