Arkansas Marijuana News

Koby Smutylo leased 2 stores in Ottawa before government’s 25 licences cap.

An Ottawa cannabis entrepreneur who’s already leased two spaces for prospective stores says he’s frustrated with the Ontario government’s decision to cap the number of licences for retail pot shops.

The province initially said it would not limit the number of licences issued for retail stores, but it reversed course last week, saying it would take a “phased approach” due to “severe supply shortages” across the country.

Only 25 licences will be issued to private retailers by Apr. 1 during the “initial phase,” with a lottery system to determine which owners are eligible.

– Read the entire article at CBC News.

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Under the leadership of previous United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s regime, member states which legalized or even considered legalizing cannabis were called out and admonished for violating decades-old international drug treaties. Under the current leadership of Sec-Gen António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, who was instrumental in decriminalizing all drugs in his native Portugal when he was Prime Minister, his regime is adopting more progressive views about cannabis. Despite this, the UN World Health Organization remains ambivalent on the subject.

The 40th World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) met from June 4-7 in a specially convened session to evaluate the public health harms and therapeutic value of cannabis and its related substances.

According to a WHO news release, it was the first time the WHO ECDD reviewed cannabis and cannabis-related substances to consider the appropriateness of their current scheduling within the 1961 and 1971 International Drug Control Conventions. Substances under control are regulated by the International Drug Control Conventions, which restrict international production and trade of these substances. Cannabis and cannabis resin is currently placed under the strictest level of international control alongside substances like fentanyl analogs and heroin.

– Read the entire article at Forbes.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has made the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults a primary goal for the first 100 days of his new term. Cuomo, who was reelected in November’s midterm elections, announced his administration’s priorities for 2019 in a speech to the New York City Bar Association on Monday morning.

“We must also end the needless and unjust criminal convictions and the debilitating criminal stigma and let’s legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo told the Manhattan meeting of attorneys that additional reform was also necessary.

“We have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and well off, and one for everyone else,” Cuomo said. “And that’s going to end.”

Cuomo added that injustice has “for too long targeted the African-American and minority communities” and also called for the elimination of the cash bail system during Monday’s speech. Other priorities for the governor include improved transit funding, tax cuts for working families, efforts to reduce the state’s carbon footprint, and a tightening of gun restrictions.

Governor is Recent Convert to Legalization

Just last year, Cuomo characterized cannabis as a “gateway drug” and opposed the legalization of recreational

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today called for marijuana to be legalized in his state as part of a “true justice agenda”.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (photo; Reuters).

“Let’s legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all,” said Cuomo. He said that he plans to push for the measure within 100 days, reports NBC New York. Cuomo didn’t provide a specific timeline for when he believes legalization would become a reality.

Cuomo’s comments marks the first time he’s ever stated support for legalizing marijuana; he shied away from the issue almost entirely during his first two terms (he won reelection last month), and once referred to cannabis as a “gateway drug”. In July he said that the “situation on marijuana is changing”, which was the first indication that he may eventually support legalization as he now says he does.

Cuomo said on Monday that New York has had “two criminal justice systems — one for the wealthy and one for everyone else,” adding that “that’s going to end.”

Following Cuomo’s announcement, New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman expressed support for the measure.

“Time is long past due to do

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has come a long way, baby. In 2017,  he said, “I support medical marijuana. I don’t support recreational marijuana,” adding that cannabis “leads to other drugs and there’s a lot of truth to proof that that’s true.”

Today, in a speech in at the New York Bar in Manhattan outlining his 2019 agenda for the state, Cuomo declared: “Let’s legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all.

What accounts for the governor’s stunning change of heart and opinion? Let’s count the ways:

• With Michigan voting to legalize marijuana in November, now 10 states have followed the leads of Colorado and Washington when they changed their pot policy in 2012.

• Border state Massachusetts, which voted to legalize adult use in 2016, just started opening up shops last month. New Yorkers can now cross over to the Bay State for cannabis products; however, it’s illegal to bring them back to the Empire State

• Since the election of Phil Murphy as governor in 2017, the New Jersey legislature has been moving full speed ahead in shaping a bill that all parties can agree on. It looks that won’t be resolved until next

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In an about-face from earlier positions, provincial lawmakers in Ontario today announced that it will place a limit on the number of private dispensaries that will be allowed to open in the province. Initially, Ontario planned for a gradual rollout of recreational retail without any limits on the number of private dispensaries. But in an announcement today, lawmakers said they will now cap private dispensaries at 25.

A Change in Policy

Provincial authorities announced the policy change in a statement issued earlier today. In the statement, they said that Ontario will now adopt a “phased approach” in which only a set number of private weed shops will receive licenses.

This is a marked change from earlier plans. In particular, as Canada prepared to legalize weed earlier this year, the Ontario Liberal provincial government said it would not restrict the number of privately-owned dispensaries.

But now, the new approach coming primarily from Ontario’s Progressive Conservative leadership will set a limit on those shops. As reported by Huffington Post, today’s announcement said that Ontario will only give out 25 licenses for privately-owned weed stores.

Additionally, the province plans to select businesses in a lottery. The winners of that lottery will be announced in

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Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, California and Nevada have all legalized marijuana, and Vermont’s Legislature just approved a bill to join this list. Which state will be #10?

Below is a list (in no particular order) of the top five states we believe are the most likely to legalize marijuana next, becoming the 10th state in the U.S. to do so (which would make 20% of the entire country).

New Hampshire

Just days ago, by a vote of 207 to 139, New Hampshire’s full House of Representatives approved House Bill 656 which would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older. This makes the state an easy choice for this list, and gives it a large head start on most other states. However, its fate in the Senate is far from certain, and passage will be much more challenging. It’s also uncertain if Governor Chris Sununu would allow it to become law. Still, it’s hard to not get the feeling that legalization in New Hampshire isn’t very far away.

New Jersey

Newly elected Governor Phillip D. Murphy has vowed to legalize marijuana within his first 100 days in office. This is in stark contrast to New Jersey’s last governor, Chris Christie, who was staunchly opposed

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the biggest challenge associated with the legalization of cannabis has been the supply shortage – but he expects it to disappear within a year.

In an end-of-year interview with The Canadian Press Friday, Trudeau predicted the problem would be resolved “during the coming months and perhaps the coming year.” He noted the scarcity of cannabis was most pronounced in Ontario and Quebec.

Trudeau said he remains unhappy with Quebec legislation introduced this month that would raise the legal age for cannabis consumption to 21 from 18.

– Read the entire article at Global News.

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Dear Mayor Dilkens,

I’m not surprised you suggested opting out of private cannabis retail sales.

Voting to opt out, however, won’t stop illegal sales. Instead, it will provide those who sell illegally with foundational support — primarily less competition — and more business.

Opting out also means illegal cannabis sold will not be sourced from federally licensed producers. Instead, those who sell cannabis illegally will source their product from illegal sources. Legal cannabis is licensed and regulated by Health Canada and is of course subject to inspections and recalls.

– Read the entire article at Windsor.

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According to Health Canada, there are currently 134 companies licensed to produce cannabis in Canada — 90 of those were licensed in the last 16 months

Health Canada says legal cannabis shortages that have been experienced in some provinces, including Nova Scotia, will likely continue into the New Year.

Karen Casey, Nova Scotia’s finance minister and deputy premier said in an interview Wednesday, the province is only receiving 35 to 40 per cent of the cannabis it needs to meet the demands of consumers, leading to store closures in some cases and raising concerns about continued reliance on the black market.

Other provinces have been facing similar issues, Casey said, and have approached Health Canada with their concerns.

– Read the entire article at The Chronicle Herald.

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