51% of Republicans now back MJ legalization
A new Gallup poll finds over half of all Republicans (up from 42% last year) are now backing cannabis legalization, joining 67% of Independents and 72% of Democrats. Full details of the October 5-11 phone survey are here.
Cannabinoids still ignored by feds in opioid emergency
Of the 20-plus cannabinoid/MMJ studies citing reduced opioid use since 2015, more than 90% reported positive patient outcomes, especially in several independent studies examining reduced opioid impact in MMJ states. As an option for chronic pain, depression/anxiety, and opiate withdrawal symptoms, CBD (with or without THC) is gaining traction in use, but is failing to gain official federal or state support. This was a running theme at the CBD4/Opioids Conference sponsored in Denver by West420 News on October 18. Read more in today’s cover story.
CANNABIZ NEWS BRIEFS
Dozens of raging wildfires, driven by gale force winds, sent flames racing through Northern California. Much of the mainstream media reported on the devastation to the vineyards, forests, and communities, meanwhile, California’s most precious cash crop lay in ashes. Read our feature story here.
While the Trump Administration has made some moves to sound loud warnings about the US opioid epidemic, very few new dollars are pledged to be sent to states by the president. Trump’s lack of needed funding ignored pleas from the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (The Christie Commission) which issued its first report without mentioning MMJ. NORML‘s national executive director Paul Armentano found the exclusion of MMJ to be a political, not health-based, decision. He wrote a Washington Post op-ed suggesting “to date, over 10,000 communications have been sent to Trump Opioid Commission asking its members to consider the growing and compelling body of scientific literature. Yet, to date, the Commission’s sole response to these request has been to suggest that MJ ‘is associated with higher rates of opioid abuse disorder’ and prescription drug misuse.”
In New Mexico, registered nurse Anita Briscoe has commenced a state-backed program where ex-convicts are being released with a processed (and immediately usable) medical marijuana card, aimed at helping avoid a return to hard-drug habits.
After nine months of sales, Washington state reports a $1.1 Billion gross MJ sales figure, setting a growth record, and nearly matching Colorado’s nine-month total ($18.2 Million more). Washington expanded its total number of licensed dispensaries (all RMJ) from 334 to 556 at the beginning of 2017. Dispensary owners are going to have a big reporting headache starting November 1st when its current seed-to-sale vendor, BioTrak THC, ends its software contract. The state has chosen MJ Freeway to replace BioTrak, but MJ will not be ready by its October 31 contracted date, and retailers will be required to post-harvest, processing and sales data in weekly Excel reports until MJ Freeway is ready.
Nevada tax officials reported $33 Million in sales for August, up 24% from the July kickoff month at $27.1 Million. Nevada director of taxation Deonne Contine says the state brought in $4.8 Million in taxes, with $3.35 Million from 10% retail tax, and $1.5 Million from the wholesaler paid 10% excise tax.
A new cannabis-themed Cheba Hut sandwich store has opened West of Strip (Rainbow & Sahara) Las Vegas. While not authorized for consumption, the location near one of Vegas’ largest dispensaries has outdoor patio dining and offers more than 24 cannabis strain-named specialty subs.
In a landmark decision over DEA prosecutorial abuse, the convictions of Washington’s Kettle Falls Five are likely to be vacated after prosecutors were admonished for ignoring provisions of the federal Rohrabacher-Farr budget amendment. The amendment prevents the Justice Department from using federal funds to prosecute any MMJ users who remain compliant with state rules. The defendants were found guilty after a mid-2015 trial over their rights to home growing, but legal observers now expect the judgment and penalties to be dropped.
California’s Santa Cruz County is moving to allow its current 12 MMJ dispensaries not located in the city to begin RMJ sales on January 1, 2018, subject to receiving their state-issued permits. Within the city of Santa Cruz, officials are looking at allowing up to five stores. San Diego and Berkeley appear to be headed to allowing a January start for local RMJ sales as well.
In this first Cannabis Industry Employee Engagement Survey, the National Cannabis Industry Association is conducting a study open to all retail, processing and cultivation workers. NCIA’s survey is open to all, but the hope is to gain good participation from Colorado. Issues to be addressed include overall worker satisfaction, worker needs and desires around benefits; and worker desires to join community engagement opportunities. Take the survey here.
ASSIST CALIFORNIA FIRE VICTIMS
Emerald Cup Charities
North Bay Fire Relief
(Redwood Credit union / Press Democrat / Sen. Mike McGuire fund):
Tubbs Fire Victims – Santa Rosa Community
CalGrowers Wildfire Relief Fund
Mendo Generations Fire Fund
Mendo Generations Redwood Complex Fire Fund
CA Fire Relief
Disaster Fund for Mendocino County
Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund
This content is provided courtesty of West420 Newsweekly.