Wow, that was a quick, news filled summer. A lot happened, and a lot of people covered it more thoroughly than us. As we ease into fall we thought we’d take a look at some of the biggest cannabis stories from the past few months.
Cannabis is totally legal in Oregon, and soon you can even buy some (but not all) of it.
Oregon became the fourth state to legalize recreational cannabis when the measure approved last November went into effect on July 1. However, the state isn’t expected to have licensed dispensaries open until fall of 2016. In order to provide the residents (and tourists) of Oregon with an option other than the illegal market, the state agreed to allow limited sales through already existing medical shops. Customers will be able to purchase up to seven grams of flower (but only flower – no edibles, topicals, concentrates, or otherwise) starting October 1.
ResponsibleOhio just wants to be friends, really
ResponsibleOhio, the polarizing group seeking to tax and regulate recreational cannabis in Ohio by ensuring that only people from ResponsibleOhio are awarded licenses, created even more controversy when they unveiled Buddy, a clearly roided-up relative of Oscar the Grouch with the dickhead grin of a dude about to hit on your girlfriend. Obviously he was met with resistance from parenting groups who worried he was marketed toward children, sensible cannabis activists who would like to see a more mature message disseminated, and people who are self-conscious about not having muscular enough quadriceps.
State of New York issues five golden tickets
New York awarded five highly sought after medical marijuana licenses, with the stipulation that shops had to be open within six months, meaning medical cannabis could be on sale in New York before the end of the year. Each company is allowed to open four dispensaries, and several are planned for the City and surrounding boroughs.
Maryland Cannabis Commission meetings offer a great place to meet Jenn and Chad
On August 19th the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved final regulations for the state’s marijuana program. Though applications have yet to be released, the regulations call for up to 15 cultivation centers, with no cap on growing, 94 dispensaries, and an unlimited number of processing licenses (though the committee has said that they will issue these based on need). The 15 cultivation centers can also open one dispensary, bringing the total possible medical pot shops in Maryland to 109, which has made the committee meetings more and more popular with the cannabis industry outside Maryland. You never know who you’ll find at a Maryland medical cannabis function these days…
California, still west coast, now less wild.
California’s legislature passed a series of proposals intended to regulate the state’s sort-of-regulated medical cannabis program. Though it’s been legal to sell medical cannabis in California since 1996, it was largely up to counties and cities to decide on how it could be sold, creating what Sen. Mike McGuire called “the wild west.” The new bills create a statewide agency to license dispensaries as well as require cultivators to adhere to the same standards of pesticide, insecticide, and water use as other farmers. All this was done in hopes of having some system in place should voters decide to fully legalize recreational use in 2016.
Some good news to end the season
Jeff Mizanskey, the Missouri man sentenced to life without parole for conspiring to sell six pounds of cannabis in 1996, was finally set free at the beginning of September, after serving 20 years in prison. The reason, according to his attorney, was simple: “the public clearly has changed its opinion about marijuana.” Indeed. A year ago the largely Republican Missouri Legislature passed a law allowing CBD-only strains to be given to people suffering from epilepsy, including babies, and the group Show-Me Cannabis continues to make progress toward reform in the state. Mizanskey ate breakfast with his family and said he intends to advocate for those still left in jail for nonviolent offenses.
Thank for reading. We’ll be back next Friday, this time trying to only cover a week’s worth of information.