California Marijuana Legalization Vote Imminent
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) — Backers of a 2016 California marijuana legalization vote say they have collected enough signatures for the measure to qualify for the California ballot this November. A coalition that includes former Facebook president Sean Parker and backed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and the nation’s leading marijuana advocacy groups says it has collected 600,000 signatures, much more than the 365,000 needed, well ahead of the July 5 deadline. Newsom, a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018, and other supporters of the ballot measure known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act plan to launch the official campaign Wednesday in San Francisco. The measure would allow possession of 1 ounce of marijuana and cultivation of six marijuana plants for adults 21 and older. The initiative would also place a 15 percent tax on retail sales of the drug.
SACRAMENTO, California (CRN) – California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill raising the tobacco smoking age from 18 to 21. Anti-smoking advocates point to data showing great reductions in teen smoking following the strict enforcement of the age 18 limit nationwide. Now advocates are calling for a nationwide raise in the tobacco age to 21. California becomes the second state to do so, following Hawaii’s example a few months ago.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (CRN) – The Sooner State is set to expand its 2014 program allowing for the limited use of cannabidiol oil for medical purposes. The House has approved and sent to Gov. Mary Fallin a bill that removes the age limit on what had been strictly pediatric uses of the cannabis oil low in THC. In addition to allowing adult use, the bill expands the program to include spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, paraplegia and symptoms of chronic wasting disease.
MONTGOMERY, Alabama (CRN) – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a bill expanding the Yellowhammer State’s cannabidiol oil study law from 2014. The law will allow for medical treatment of cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, and any other condition that is severe and resistant to conventional medicine. The cannabidiol oil can be no more than 3 percent THC and it must be acquired from out of state.
DENVER, Colorado (AP) – A Colorado proposal to certify organic marijuana has been rejected amid concerns the labels would imply pot is healthy. The bill rejected in a legislative committee Tuesday would have created a first-of-its-kind label for marijuana that had been produced without pesticides. The proposal failed 4-3 in a Senate committee. Some lawmakers said the labels could wrongly imply that marijuana is harmless.
SALEM, Oregon (CRN) –Oregon is expanding its early sales program that allows adult marijuana consumers to shop at existing medical marijuana dispensaries until recreational shops are licensed and open. Since October of last year, adults have been allowed to purchase up to 7 grams of cannabis flower and four cannabis seedlings or seeds. Starting June 2, adults will now be able to purchase one edible with no more than 15 milligrams of THC, topical products of no more than 6 percent THC, and one pre-filled extract cartridge of no more than 1 gram of THC. Oregon also removed its two-year residency requirement for commercial licensing. That licensing also begins on June 2.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (CRN) – The Ohio House has revamped its proposed medical marijuana law to remove access to whole plant cannabis medicine. House Bill 523 has specified that marijuana would not be available to patients in a smokable form. Patients would also be forbidden from growing their own cannabis plants at home. Allowing doctors discretion to determine medical cannabis use has been replaced by a strict list of about 20 qualifying conditions. Extracts would be limited to 70 percent THC content. Positive benefits of the bill include protections for parental rights, reciprocity for other states with conditions as strict as Ohio’s, a program to help needy patients get marijuana, and a requirement that 15 percent of all licenses are issued to people of color.
DOVER, New Hampshire (AP) — New Hampshire’s second medical marijuana dispensary is opening, in Dover. Temescal Wellness is scheduled to open Thursday. The first one, run by Sanctuary ATC, opened Saturday in Plymouth. Temescal Wellness is expected to receive certification for a second dispensary in Lebanon in the next few weeks. A total of four dispensary locations and three cultivation centers will be opening.