This week’s big news is Canada’s historic vote to legalize and regulate cannabis. Meanwhile, in the U.S. a powerful Senate committee has trashed a cannabiz banking amendment. A silver lining appeared when Texas Republicans pledged support for decriminalization. All this and more in this week’s news.

Canadian Rec. Sales Pushed To October 17th

Shortly after the Canadian Senate signed off on the final tweaks to Bill C-45, the launch of recreational marijuana sales in Canada has been moved ahead once again to October 17th. Originally a date of July 1st was batted around, and then it was pushed mid-September.

Up until yesterday, the general consensus was that it would take about 2 months to put together the program’s final details, putting launch date sometime in September. However, yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set a date of October 17th — a full three-and-a-half months past original projections of early July.

“We heard from provinces and territories who told us they needed more time to transition to this new framework, so our government will continue to work in full partnership with them, to ensure the smooth and orderly implementation of this new law across Canada,” Trudeau told reporters.

The bill was awarded Royal Assent shortly thereafter, making it official — and making history.

Texas Republicans Pledge Support For Decriminalization

Texas Republicans, meeting for their annual convention, have declared support for marijuana decriminalization in their official party platform. Also approved was an expansion of medical marijuana access as well as support for industrial hemp.

Delegates were given the opportunity to learn about cannabis policy and regulation before the platform vote. Three pro-pot groups and one anti-pot group had booths in the exposition area.

Of the 330 planks approved by the party, four are related to the regulation of cannabis including support for decriminalization. According to the language, adults caught with an ounce or less would be subject to civil penalties.

Read more on this story at High Times.

Massachusetts Awards First Recreational Cultivation License

“The recreational marijuana era is officially underway in Massachusetts,” writes The Boston Globe. In a unanimous decision, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has granted the state’s first-ever recreational marijuana license to Sira Naturals, a cultivation facility in Milford.

Recreational sales in the state are scheduled to begin July 1st. The commission expects to vote on several license applications each week between now and then, “setting up a steady if deliberate rollout of recreational pot businesses,” according to The Globe.

U.S. Senate Kills Cannabiz Banking Amendment

Forbes reports that a powerful U.S. Senate panel has killed an amendment to let marijuana businesses deposit their profits in banks. The Senate Appropriations Committee tabled the amendment on Thursday by a vote of 21-10. Current federal policy forces marijuana businesses to operate on an all-cash basis.

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee defeated a similar cannabis banking proposal.

High Times Acquires CULTURE

High Times has announced the acquisition of CULTURE Magazine, calling the periodical an authoritative source on developments about medical marijuana. According to High Times, CULTURE has a global following and is available both online and print.

“We’re building a broad collection of different cannabis-related publications to offer to our many advertisers who are seeking the highly sought demographic of canna-users,” said High Times’ CEO Adam Levin on the acquisition. “CULTURE’s approach strongly complements High Times Magazine and other High Times media properties, events, and merchandise. CULTURE is a natural fit as we continue to expand.”

The Polls Keep Rolling In…

Another new poll shows that support for the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. is at an all-time high. The survey, conducted by research firm GBA Strategies found that 68% of voters now support legalizing cannabis. The online poll included 1,000 registered voters and was done between April 25 and May 1. The study was commissioned by The Center for American Progress (CAP).

Vice president of Criminal Justice Reform at CAP, Ed Chung, stated that the poll’s results are a signal to federal lawmakers.

“This finding of widespread, bipartisan national support for marijuana legalization is important as Congress begins to take initial steps in this arena,” said Chung. “There is clear overwhelming public support for marijuana legalization, and cities and states across the country are taking action. It is time for a national effort to catch up with legislation to liberalize outdated marijuana policies.”

A massive 77 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans are in favor of legal weed. Read all about it at High Times.

This week’s big news is Canada’s historic vote to legalize and regulate cannabis. Meanwhile, in the U.S. a powerful Senate committee has trashed a cannabiz banking amendment. A silver lining appeared when Texas Republicans pledged support for decriminalization. All this and more in this week’s news.

This week’s big news is Canada’s historic vote to legalize and regulate cannabis. Meanwhile, in the U.S. a powerful Senate committee has trashed a cannabiz banking amendment. A silver lining appeared when Texas Republicans pledged support for decriminalization. All this and more in this week’s news. #cannabis #marijuana #canada #texas #massachusetts @HIGH_TIMES_Mag @culturemag