The small North Dakota population of 755,400 allows a small number of petition signatures — just over 13,450 — to place an issue on a statewide ballot. That’s the reason legalization backers in North Dakota were able to slide in a filing to place a legalization measure on the November ballot, turning in more than 18,000 names to allow for state officials to reject some petitioners.

North Dakota, already a top 5 hemp grower, is touching the newly legal national rollout in Canada, and will likely vote for the measure having approved medical marijuana two years ago. Polling from North Dakota Kitchens estimate 46% of voters are for the measure, 39% are against legalization, while 15% remain undecided. Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp may also be excited to gain some much-needed re-election votes from young voters likely to show up for the RMJ measure.

Colorado‘s legal and medical cannabis buyers will have more “non-conforming” products off store shelves with the July 1st emergency rule of the Marijuana Enforcement Division.   The MED sided with some state Health department safety concerns and removed any THC/CBD  suppositories (rectal or vaginal) as well as cannabis delivery through an inhaler or spray-delivered products. The rules can still be changed through January 2019, and members of several Colorado trade associations told a MED subcommittee meeting that “member companies could be forced to relocate to other states.”

Hawaii‘s governor has signed a bill which will allow medical marijuana cardholder patients to obtain medical cannabis while in his state. Governor David Ige signed house bill 2729 which will allow 60 days access to Hawaii medical marijuana for a $45 fee. The bill also prohibits any job discrimination (or punitive actions) against industry workers who are medical marijuana cardholders, or any action based on worker marijuana consumption outside of work.

California officials refused to supply any additional field information in the start to statewide marijuana testing July 1st, which forced the destruction of product from retailer shelves.  Several attempts to gain a regulatory perspective at the Bureau of Cannabis Control were unsuccessful, as the BCC’s Alex Traverso would only tell West420 Newsweekly that he did “see quite a few deals the week leading up to the deadline, so hopefully, most in retail were able to sell their pre-2018 product.”  Industry sources were much less optimistic, suggesting that the state’s refusal to allow an extension to the deadline would cost retailers up to $350 million in unrecoverable expense.

Link of the Week: North Dakota??  Missouri?? Michigan?? Will votes for recreational approval help lift Democratic chances in close (red) states for Democrats? And how will newly legal state’s like Nevada and Florida cast their Senator votes? Poltico.com reporter James Higdon asks, “Could Could legal MJ tip the balance in the Senate for Democrats?”  Cautious incumbents are using it to shore up support from progressive voters and challengers are seizing on the issue’s high popularity to knock conservatives.  See the story here.

Long-time licensed provider Tilray (a division of Privateer Holding) is readying its 9-million public share offering, expecting to generate $140 million in new investor funding.

At Bank of Montreal, a new $200 million (US) facility has been extended to Aurora Cannabis, which is in the middle of several global deals. For its part, Canada LP leader Canopy Growth has set up its South American affiliate in a stock deal valued at $45.7 million to acquire Spectrum Cannabis, one of the largest anticipated medical marijuana cannabis concerns in South America.

A Washington state mother is suing the state claiming the very restrictive advertising rules there are unconstitutionally stopping her from freely seeking “communications about cannabis medication.” Meagan Holt said she is being banned from seeking quality-of-life information for her daughter Maddie, who is diagnosed with Zellweger syndrome and seizures. Holt’s lawsuit alleges that the new restrictions, in conjunction with existing policies from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, have created a situation that has made it impossible for her to procure a reliable, legal source of medicine for her daughter. The suit, filed against Governor Jay Inslee, calls upon the state to relax its most-restrictive-in-the-nation anti-advertising rules.

New York governor candidate Cynthia Nixon may have run afoul of federal election laws, even as she continued to raise the bar for normalization of cannabis access. Her campaign set up a raffle, with the price of a clear glass bong containing the signature of Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the stars of Comedy Central’s “Broad City.” Lawyers said the contest could be a “technical violation of federal law” that prohibits the sale or offering for sale of drug paraphernalia. Nixon faces a Sept. 13th primary vote with current Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who less than a year ago, continued to call cannabis a “gateway drug.”