Weekend News Recap
January 29th, 2018
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Jared Polis head up bipartisan letter to Trump urging him to restore Cole Memo
A bicameral, bipartisan coalition of Congressional leaders Thursday asked President Donald Trump to direct Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reinstate the so-called Cole Memo.
The Department of Justice earlier this month rescinded the Obama-era guidance on marijuana enforcement in states that have legalized medical or recreational cannabis.
The letter authored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., is signed by 52 additional members of Congress, including Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Don Young, R-Alaska, Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Matt Gaetz. R-Fla.
The letter opened with a statement of concern for, “recent steps taken by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to disrupt state efforts to implement their own marijuana enforcement policies.”
Sessions’ move to rescind the Cole Memo “puts jobs, small businesses, state infrastructure, consumers, minorities and patients at risk. This action by the Department of Justice has the potential to unravel efforts to build sensible drug policies that encourage economic development as we finally move away from antiquated practices that have hurt disadvantaged communities,” the letter said. Read More…
H/T: The Cannabist
America Mourns Passing of Dennis Peron, Father of Medical Marijuana
Numerous reports out of San Francisco are confirming the passing of Dennis Peron, 72, the legendary cannabis activist who kindled America’s medical marijuana revolution in the 1980s.
Peron’s brother, Jeffrey Peron, posted this on his Facebook page earlier this afternoon: “Changed the world” is a phrase entirely befitting the life of Dennis Peron.
As a leading figure in San Francisco’s gay culture and cannabis underground in the 1970s and 1980s, Peron was one of the first to realize the health benefits cannabis offered to those battling AIDS in the heart of the crisis that overtook that city in the late 1980s. Read More…
NJ marijuana legalization: 5 weed lessons from the New Jersey Cannabis Symposium
Gov. Phil Murphy has made marijuana legalization a priority of his administration, signing an executive order this week to expand the state’s medical marijuana industry. Though neither legalization bill in the Legislature has even sniffed a hearing, experts have predicted a bill to be passed and signed into law by June 30.
Thursday’s New Jersey Cannabis Symposium was marketed toward anyone looking to get in the cannabis business, from retail store owners and growers to developers, investors and folks working on the fringes of the industry.
Here are five takeaways from the sellout event in Newark:
1. May the odds be ever in your favor
The current legalization bills only set a minimum for the number of retail marijuana licenses issued in New Jersey: One per county, with room to grow based on population and demand.
Revised legislation is expected to be introduced by Feb. 1, said Brian Staffa, partner with cannabis industry consultant the BSC Group. And it’s likely to come with a cap of 80 retail licenses and 15 cultivation licenses throughout the state.
The number of licenses are likely to increase during continued bill revisions and negotiations, Staffa said.
“I don’t expect that to be enough,” Staffa said, as audible grumbling began among the audience. “But it’s a place to start the conversation.”
THE IMPORTANT QUESTION: When will weed be legalized in New Jersey?
But some potential retail applicants are not worried: “I guess (it means) competition and maybe increased professionalism,” said Joseph Shapiro, a 37-year-old Ocean Grove attorney trying to get a head start on a retail license. Read More…