Colorado at the center of presidential debate around cannabis policy

Yesterday’s News – September 25, 2015


We haven’t come up with a clever name for our new weekly news format, so we’re sticking with Yesterday’s News and publishing it on Fridays (usually). We’ll cover the biggest cannabis-related headlines of the week and provide links in case you want to read more.


Image: CNN screenshot

Image: CNN screenshot

Denver Post prints its most clever line ever, sets new bar for pot puns

It’s clear that cannabis will play a major role in the 2016 presidential election, and, for better or worse, Colorado is central to this dialogue. For perhaps the first time in US history, the cannabis question will be about policy, not about whether or not the candidates inhaled. Republicans tossed the issue around during their recent CNN debate, with Sen. Rand Paul positing it as a states-rights issue and challenging Gov. Chris Christie’s support of the 10th amendment, prompting Jeb Bush to agree that cannabis laws are a “state decision.” The most emotional consideration of the issue came from Carly Fiorina, who connected cannabis policy with her daughter’s death from alcohol and prescription drugs and apparently has not seen the statistics on opiate deaths in states with legal medical cannabis. On the other side of the aisle, Democratic candidates Martin O’Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders are in favor of decriminalization, while Hillary Clinton remains more ambiguous on the matter. However this thing shakes out in November, the Denver Post is right that “you can’t spell POTUS without pot.”



We know we should write about the release of Steve DeAngelo’s new book but we can’t find anyplace but weed outlets that covered it

Steve DeAngelo is widely considered the father of the legal cannabis industry, and few others have had such influence in the cannabis community. His activism and commitment to patients are inspirational, and his impact as an entrepreneur cannot be overstated; Harborside Health Center is the largest medical cannabis dispensary in the world, Steep Hill laboratories sets the standard in cannabis testing, and the ArcView group is one of the only investment firms in the nation dedicated to the legal cannabis industry. But among DeAngelo’s greatest contributions is his passion about the benefits of cannabis – for individuals and for society – as a wellness solution and not an intoxicant. Now he’s taken that message and turned it into a book, The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness, that transforms his decades of experience in advocacy and medical cannabis into expert advice for cannabis consumers, business owners, and the general public. For DeAngelo, the wider the audience the better; his goal is to be the first cannabis book on the New York Times bestseller list. From the book summary: “The Cannabis Manifesto is both a call to action and a radical vision of humans’ relationship with this healing but controversial plant…a compelling case for cannabis as a wellness catalyst that must be legalized.” Check Cashinbis for more:



Senator Gillibrand speaks at latest NCIA convention in NYC

If you’ve been paying attention to the cannabis industry for the past year or so, you’ve probably noticed that it has another huge, national event – a convention, or an expo, or a conference, or a summit – about once a month or so. With such a full schedule of industry gatherings, most of which promise to be the biggest and best yet, a can’t-miss experience for anyone in or around cannabis, it can be challenging to determine when to spend those frequent flyer miles (and hundreds of dollars in registration fees) and when to stay home. The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) made that choice an easy one when they brought Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as a speaker for their Fall Business Summit in Manhattan. Sen. Gillibrand introduced the CARERS Act, which would reclassify cannabis as a Schedule II substance and allow states to determine their own medical cannabis policies, back in March with Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY) and continues to urge the federal government to “catch up to science” when evaluating cannabis policy. Of course, Gillibrand presented before a friendly audience at the NCIA summit; the cannabis industry stands to gain access to legitimate banks and credit unions if the proposed legislation becomes law. Politico New York has more details from the speech:



Maryland might get its act together but probably not all counties

With license applications expected to drop any day now, it appears that Maryland is actually on its way to implementing a functional medical cannabis program. The state anticipates that it will license up to 15 cultivation sites, as many as 94 additional dispensaries, facilities to process cannabis into concentrates, tinctures, and topicals, and labs to test cannabis products by the end of 2015, with product on shelves for patients by the second half of 2016. Due to the potential for an incredibly robust market, Maryland is thought by many to be the next big medical cannabis state. But not all localities are happy with the regulations created by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission; in Anne Arundel County, the home of Maryland’s capital, Executive Steve Schuh (R) has proposed legislation that would ban cannabis cultivation, processing, and dispensing in his jurisdiction. Apparently he’s comfortable with his citizens and their tax dollars going elsewhere for their medicine. The Washington Post does a decent job of explaining the law and the current landscape in Maryland:



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