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  1. In 2017 Oregon passed sweeping Equal Pay Legislation. Towards the end of August, Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) issued draft rules implementing the Oregon Equal Pay Act. This series of post is exploring those new rules and how they will affect cannabis businesses. In my last post, I unpacked the definition of “compensation” under the Equal Pay Act and the proposed rules. This week I’ll discuss “work of a comparable character.” The Oregon Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying wages or other compensation to “any employee at a rate greater than that at which the employer pays wages or other compensation to employees of a protected class for work of a comparable character.” To put it simply, cannabis businesses need to pay employees doing the same work the same pay. But what is “work of a comparable character?” Work of a comparable character is not determined simply by job title alone. Two cannabis workers who have the same job title but perform different tasks are not necessarily performing “work of a comparable character.” Similarly, two cannabis workers that perform essentially the same tasks but have different job titles may be performing work of a comparable character. According to the BOLI draft rules, to determine if different jobs constitute “work of a comparable character” the employer must consider whether the jobs require “substantially similar knowledge, skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions.” No one factor is determinative. Meaning, an employer should balance the factors against each other to determine if employees are performing the same work and therefore should be receive equal pay. The proposed BOLI rules further define each factor. Knowledge. When considering whether two jobs require similar “knowledge,” the employer should consider whether the jobs require similar education, experience, or training. Skill. Things to consider to determine if two jobs require the same “skill” include the ability, agility, coordination, efficiency or experience required to perform the job. Effort. Considerations to determine the “effort” of a job include the “amount of physical or mental exertion needed; amount of sustained activity; or complexity of job tasks performed.” Responsibility. To determine if responsibility of two positions are “similar,” an employer should consider the “accountability, decision-making discretion, or impact of an employee’s exercise of their job functions on the employer’s business; amount, level, or degree of significance of job tasks; autonomy or extent to which the employee works without supervision; extent to which the employee exercises supervisory functions; or extent to which an employee’s work or actions expose an employer to risk or liability. Working conditions. Finally, to determine if employees are working in similar “working conditions” an employer should consider the “work environment; hours; time of day worked; physical surroundings; and potential hazards.” Determining how to pay your employees is not an easy task. The Equal Pay Act, while it has good intentions, may make that task even more difficult. Regardless, now is the time to analyze how you are paying your cannabis employees. Now is the time to look at the jobs that are being performed, identify work of a comparable character, and adjust wages accordingly. If you’re unsure whether two workers should be receiving equal pay, you should contact an employment attorney. The Equal Pay Act pay provisions are effective on January 1, 2019. Again, now is the time to ensure compliance before BOLI starts handing out penalties next year. View the full article
  2. Conservative pundits at right-wing media outlet Fox News are at it again. The network is known for taking hardline conservative positions on everything, often lying and spreading misinformation along the way. Now, the network is back on the “reefer madness” bandwagon. This time, Fox News spokespeople and other right-wing talking heads are making the spurious claim that legal marijuana is responsible for a host of social problems, including homelessness, poverty, and teen drug use. “Fox & Friends” Spreading Reefer Madness Misinformation On a recent episode of “Fox & Friends,” the network’s right-wing propagandists had plenty of anti-cannabis rhetoric to spread. In the wake of Canada making cannabis legal earlier this week, the talk show turned its focus to the U.S. In particular, they talked about whether or not the U.S. is on course for legalization. At one point in the conversation, co-host Steve Doocy asked his guest commentators about legalization. He said: “Is it a good idea… to legalize pot nationwide here in the United States? Canada just did it.” The first person to respond to the question was a guy named Joe Peters. At Fox, the fact that he’s a former cop qualifies him to be an authoritative voice on complex social and political issues. The reality, though, is that Peters is a far-right authoritarian who supports the harmful, violent, and fundamentally racist war on drugs. Peters responded that legalization would be a bad idea. As proof, he pointed to Colorado. Here’s what he claims has happened in the state since it made marijuana legal: “By every metric, it was a failure, in my view. Teen drug use is the highest in the country—teen drug use. Drug driving is off the charts, doubled with marijuana impaired driving. Homelessness is up. Emergency room admissions.” He goes on and on from there. Propaganda, Not Fact The problem for Peters and the rest of the “Fox & Friends” staff is that this entire line of reasoning is based on lies and misinformation. It’s propaganda, not fact. For starters, legal marijuana has not catalyzed any significant drug-related problems among teens. In fact, teen drug use has remained remarkably unchanged, even as more and more places begin to legalize cannabis. Actual stats about teen marijuana consumption and drug use paint a very different, much more complex reality than Peters would have it. For starters, stats show that teen consumption of marijuana has remained relatively static for the past seven years or so—even in places with legal weed like Colorado. It is true that 2017 saw the first uptick in cannabis consumption among teens. The number of teens who consumed weed in the prior year rose 1.3 percent. But that’s the only noticeable change in nearly a decade. What has changed among teens is the number of young people consuming nicotine. The metric where the biggest changes has happened is in vaping. In that category, teen use is definitely on the rise. But this has nothing to do with weed. And Fox didn’t express a whole lot of concern over this trend. Similarly, Peters’ claim that legal weed causes homelessness is false. Studies and data simply don’t back him up. For example, a study of legal marijuana in Pueblo, Colorado was published in March. The report explicitly concluded that “legal cannabis has not had a significant impact on homelessness rates.” Instead, the study found that “disconnected utilities” were the “largest single cause of homelessness in Pueblo in 2016.” Ultimately, Peters and the rest of “Fox & Friends” are focused on moving the conversation away from the realities at the root of poverty and homelessness: the rising cost of living, lack of jobs that pay a living wage, lack of affordable housing, inaccessible resources, racism, homophobia, transphobia, intimate partner violence, and more. Instead, they spread a bunch of lies about cannabis to push a far-right agenda aimed at protecting power and criminalizing already-marginalized communities. The post ‘Fox & Friends’ Hosts Blame Homelessness, Teen Drug Use on Legal Marijuana appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  3. It’s been a long time coming. Many have been waiting for the day weed would become officially legal in Canada. And today Canadians from British Columbia to Newfoundland can enjoy and celebrate the new cannabis-friendly climate. Many are joining in the spirit and finding unique ways to observe the new law. Cannabis businesses and users alike have spent the last 48 hours taking hold of this momentous occasion. For example, a Canadian delivery service hosted a Willy Wonka-style lottery where a lucky customer wins free munchies. But none commemorates the passing of Bill C-45 quite like Leaf Forward, Canada’s first and leading cannabis business accelerator. This important bill deserves attention by pot smokers in every province. And Leaf Forward has made it simple to not only honor Bill C-45, but to celebrate it in the highest of style. They have printed every single word of the historic law on rolling papers. Time’s Up, Roll Up The wait for Canada’s Cannabis Act to go into effect was a long one. Learning the ins and outs, and most importantly where to pick up the product, required Canadians to stay abreast of local and national news. Few Canadians who stand to reap the rewards of the law know the words the bill actually contains. But Leaf Forward offers all 152 pages of the full document in its pack of rolling papers. A cannabis enthusiast can go page by page of the bill by smoking joint after joint. Printed with safe, non-toxic ink, the rolling papers even come with sealed in wax in honor of the Canadian government. Though rolling papers have been printed to pay tribute to people or occasions before, these papers are truly an expression of appreciation for the hard work carried out by Canadian cannabis enthusiasts an lawmakers. Leaf Foward’s CEO and Co-Founder Alex Blumenstein wishes show gratitude to the many individuals—the activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders—and “celebrate in a way that’s true to the occasion.” And by that, he means literally smoking the significant document. Leap Forward with Leaf Forward Not only does the company come up with creative ways to honor the Cannabis Act, Leaf Forward also aids cannabis companies in their early stages of growth. Central to its focus are providing new businesses with mentorship, networking, and opportunities to learn from successful industry leaders. Through its network of cannabis industry experts, entrepreneurs and leaders, Leaf Forward fosters start-ups by preparing founders to pitch to investors and raising the funds to take the business to its next stages. In practice, Leaf Forward works closely with a small group of hand-selected start-ups in the cannabis industry. During a 12-week program, these business transcend where they were when they started. And thanks to the new legal environment and Leaf Forward, the businesses can now thrive. 152 Pages to Puff These celebratory papers are currently limited in supply. But never fear. Roll a rose blunt. Pick up some other papers. Enjoy your cannabis however you do. And when you do, take a puff in honor of the monumental words in Bill C-45. Roll a joint for the canna-businesses small and large, and for those like Leaf Forward, motivated and dedicated to the cause of cannabis globally. Roll another for the Canadian lawmakers who made the bill possible. And most of all, roll a joint for the Canadian cannabis enthusiasts who stood by the cause. The post Canadian Company Launches Rolling Papers Printed with The Cannabis Act appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  4. A crime report is making the rounds, centering on a 22-year-old Phoenix woman, Reed Ibrahim, who was arrested on charges of drug possession with the intent to distribute. But there was some initial confusion over what drugs Ibrahim was attempting to move. Reports indicate that law enforcement found 50 pounds of weed and two kilos (approximately 5 pounds) of a substance that tested as cocaine, but which unnamed sources within the DEA later said was fentanyl. Media reports are conflicting over whether Ibrahim will face charges for cocaine or fentanyl. Ibrahim says she was unaware she was carrying the illegal drugs. Police Mistake 5 Pounds of Fentanyl For Cocaine Reed Ibrahim was traveling from Phoenix, Arizona to Nashville, Tennessee when TSA alerted DEA agents that Ibrahim’s luggage appeared to contain large bundles resembling narcotics packages. DEA informed Nashville law enforcement, who stopped Ibrahim after she claimed her two checked suitcases in Nashville. A subsequent search, to which Ibrahim consented, turned up two 25-pound packages of cannabis and two kilogram packages of a powder. Agents field-tested the powder and identified it as cocaine. Police arrested Ibrahim at the scene. Subsequent lab tests of the kilogram packages identified that what officers thought was cocaine was actually fentanyl. Immediately, reports about the incident began to frame Ibrahim as a potential mass murderer. Multiple reports measured the five pounds of fentanyl in its equivalent in lethal doses: law enforcement claimed it was 1 million. There is no known lethal dose of cannabis. During her interrogation, Ibrahim told police that she had no idea she was carrying the deadly synthetic opioid. She said someone had offered to pay her $1,000 to carry the two suitcases from Phoenix to Nashville. Reports are conflicting as to whether Ibrahim’s cocaine possession charges will be amended to reflect that the packages were fentanyl. Speaking exclusively with an undercover detective involved in the bust, WSMV News says police are prioritizing enforcement against opioids. The officer told WSMV reporters he believes it’s not a problem Tennessee can “arrest its way out of.” Instead, he said, combatting opioid abuse requires rehabilitation programs and changes to the law. More States Are Moving To Legalize Cannabis For Opioid Replacement Stories like Reed Ibrahim’s are a reminder that opioid abuse continues to be a crisis point for public health in the United States. Opioid overdose deaths are now a leading cause of death for those under 50. Between 2016 and 2017, the U.S. Health and Human Services department recorded 2.1 million people suffered from an opioid use disorder, and an estimated 130-plus people died every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. And while fentanyl is undeniably the driver behind deaths from illicit opioids, the rate of prescriptions for opioids isn’t declining much. In 2017, for example, more than 17 percent of all Americans had at least one opioid prescription filled. And there were 58 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 Americans, according to the CDC. In the face of the deadly epidemic, states with legal medical cannabis are considering opioid replacement as a qualifying condition. Leading the pack is New York, which announced earlier this year that it was adding opioid replacement to its list of qualifying conditions. The massive medical cannabis program expansion means that any condition for which a physician can prescribe an opioid is automatically qualified for a medical cannabis recommendation. With the over-prescribing of opioids a contributing factor to the epidemic of abuse and overdoses in the U.S., the hope is that cannabis can both help to reduce opioid prescriptions and serve as an alternative painkilling treatment. The post 50 Pounds of Weed, 5 Pounds of Fentanyl Found in Suitcases in Nashville Airport appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  5. Here we go again!This morning, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Public Health, and California Department of Food and Agriculture issued 15-day notices of modification to the texts of their respective proposed regulations. The California Cannabis Portal has published links to each notice and the modified texts of the proposed regulations. For each set, the respective Department will accept written comments by November 5, 2018. Stay tuned to the Canna Law Blog for future posts analyzing modified proposed regulations, which are extensive. View the full article
  6. Don’t skim over that indemnification clause!Coming from Seattle to Los Angeles, I’ve already seen one state flip from being a “gray medical cannabis state” to a fully regulated licensing system and I understand how painful a process this can be. So much of what I saw in Washington State is now happening in California. In California today, folks are jockeying for operational licenses on the state and local levels under MAUCRSA and “the cream” is rising to the top, just as it did in Washington. One-to-two-person shops and mom and pop operators are feeling the financial pinch of licensing costs and compliance woes. The secondary market for buying cannabis businesses is also beginning to open up as cities and counties solidify and stick with their local cannabis entitlement programs. Transactions between cannabis licensees are becoming increasingly sophisticated, from IP licensing agreements, to distribution agreements, to white labeling agreements, to purchase and sale agreements for inventory. And just as happened in Washington State at the onset of legalization there, we are seeing many cultivators and manufacturers overpromising on what they can deliver, more often due to overconfidence as to dishonesty. In legal terms, this means we are also seeing cultivation and manufacturing licensees, and distributors agreeing to indemnify retailers and other licensees for everything under the sun, quite often to their own detriment. Even though the cannabis industry is maturing rapidly in California, many are still using boilerplate or Google-discovered or Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer contracts for these very serious transactions. This use of bad template documents (most of which are modified little if at all for the realities of the cannabis industry) has got to stop, or cannabis licensees will soon find themselves embroiled in costly and counter-productive disputes/litigation. And that brings me to the crux of this post, which is one of the most important “boilerplate” contract provisions that absolutely must be tailored for a California cannabis contract: indemnification. What, exactly, is indemnification? It’s when one party (the “indemnitor”) agrees to hold harmless and compensate the other party (the “indemnitee”) for losses suffered by the indemnitee. Many cannabis sellers in California are far too willing to indemnify third parties for things completely out of their control, like lab results, changes in regulations that may affect the other party’s operations, and unforeseen conduct by users of the cannabis product. These blanket indemnification provisions are creating liability and exposure. In the past month or so, many cannabis companies have come to us (both in Los Angeles and in San Francisco) with poorly drafted, irrelevant or nonsensical indemnification provisions and agreements from cannabis sellers. So, what makes for a good indemnification provision in a cannabis contract? A preliminary question should be the breadth of the indemnification. If you are the seller and you want to protect yourself, you should tailor your indemnification to what makes sense and to what you can afford. You do not want something like the following (which is being used fairly often in California these days by inexperienced lawyers and lawyerless companies): “The Indemnitor agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Indemnitee, its officers, directors, employees, owners, agents, assigns, and affiliates (collectively, the “Indemnified Parties”) from and against any and all claims, liability, loss, expenses, suits, damages, judgments, demands, and costs(including reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses) (each a “Claim”) arising out of any accident, injury, or death to persons, or loss of or damage to property, or fines and penalties which may result, in whole or in part, by reason of the use or sale of any Product, or its packaging, except to the extent that such damage is due solely and directly to the gross negligence or willful misconduct of the Indemnified Parties and that the Indemnified Parties, or any of them, were acting in bad faith.” This sort of provision is a bad idea for any cannabis seller. It means that seller will be liable to the buyer for just about anything that could go wrong–anywhere, for anyone–from the product. No one wants to be on the hook for things they cannot control. Here are a few important things to consider when crafting a cannabis indemnification term: Both the cannabis seller and buyer need to focus on what kinds of losses will or will not be covered by indemnification. If I’m the seller, I’m going to want to exclude incidental, punitive, and indirect damages even if foreseeable. If I’m the cannabis buyer, I’m going to want to include at least incidental damages and foreseeable indirect damages. It is both unusual and risky for a seller to agree to indemnify a party indefinitely, and yet this too has become common in California. If you are the seller, make sure your indemnity agreement or provision has an end date. Your indemnification agreement or provision should include a protocol for making indemnification claims to the indemnifying party. The boilerplate indemnification provisions and agreements we are seeing typically never even mention any claim deadline or claim notice requirements. As the cannabis seller you should, at minimum, address these two issues in your indemnification provision or agreement. If the indemnification is mutual, and captures reciprocal indemnification obligations in the same paragraph or contract section, ask yourself “why?” Putting the same parameters around indemnification for both parties often makes no sense, because each party has a different role in the business relationship. Consider separating the indemnity obligations and applying tailored language for each party, as appropriate for that party’s role in the transaction. Finally, can you just cross it out? If you have deal leverage, and someone presents you with an indemnification provision (particularly an onerous one), you may be able to get rid of it altogether. Sometimes, you can convince the other party to give you everything they need to feel comfortable through appropriate representations and warranties. There are certainly very good and reliable stock indemnification provisions in most contracts, and there’s a reason for that boilerplate in that it’s time-tested and mostly appropriate for more standard business agreements. However, be sure that whatever you’re putting into your cannabis contracts on indemnification is tailored to your specific situation. If not, you could find yourself holding the bag on way more than what is fair — let alone what you expected or can afford. View the full article
  7. Cosmetics and beauty company Sephora is expanding its lineup of CBD-infused personal care products. The latest addition is Lord Jones’ CBD lotion. Lord Jones is one of the leading creators and distributors of CBD-infused products, with a reputation for high-quality and consistent results. Lord Jones products enjoy an almost cult-like following, and now consumers can pick them up at virtually any Sephora nationwide. Lord Jones Pain-Relieving CBD Lotion Now Available At Sephora Cannabis products are continuing their trendy takeover of health and beauty products. From creams to lotions, gels and makeup, non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) has found its way into everything health and beauty-related. And for good reason, too. CBD offers a range of therapeutic and wellness benefits. It’s an anti-inflammatory, a pain reliever and it can help balance your mood and ease stress and anxiety. When it comes to the CBD-infused health and beauty market, Lord Jones calls its High CBD Formula Lotion a game-changer. With CBD derived from organic hemp cultivated in the USA and containing zero THC, Lord Jones doesn’t make its lotion with CBD isolate. Instead, it uses full-spectrum CBD oil that preserves the plant’s terpenes and cannabinoid structure. This lotion is “whole plant,” eschewing heavy processing. Lord Jones says its High CBD Formula is super-moisturizing. And its CBD infusion also makes it ideal for recovery after a tough workout, relieving cramps and everyday muscle soreness. The CBD gets some help from organic Shea butter with natural vitamins and fatty acids. There’s also a splash of menthyl ethylamido oxalate, a natural compound that imparts a cooling sensation as it stimulates blood flow beneath the skin. Those ingredients, combined, make Lord Jones CBD lotion an effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic as well as an ideal moisturizer. Everyone, Including Celebrities, Loves Lord Jones CBD Lotion The internet is awash with rave reviews of Lord Jones’ CBD lotion. And celebrities are 100 percent on board. Chelsea Handler and Busy Philipps swear by it, according to HuffPo. And Olivia Wilde says it’s her go-to lotion. Lord Jones isn’t just in the business of making CBD-infused lotion. The company also makes a top-quality line of other CBD products, including tinctures, edibles and oils. But its therapeutic body lotion is only available at Sephora. A 50 mL bottle of the High CBD Formula lotion goes for $60 online with free shipping. While you wait for yours to arrive, you can page through the dozens of 5-star product reviews. The product packaging is simple and well-designed. Each perfect pump dispenses lotion containing 2 mg of CBD. Lord Jones recommends rubbing one or two pumps into the affected area and allowing the lotion to fully absorb. And you won’t mind waiting. The herbal, lush aromas are soothing on their own! The post Sephora is Now Carrying Lord Jones CBD Lotion appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  8. On the first day of legalization across Canada on Oct. 17, Thomas H. Clarke predicted his store in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland would run out of product by Friday. He ended up running out on Wednesday afternoon, the very same day cannabis was legalized. Newfoundland and Labrador is Canada’s easternmost province, with its own time zone a half-hour ahead of mainland Canada. It was the first province to open for business as 12:01 a.m. struck on Oct. 17, heralding the beginning of legal cannabis in Canada. After opening up as one of the first stores to sell cannabis legally, Clarke’s THC Distribution ran out of product just after 4 p.m. on Oct. 17. “It’s very bad news in my eyes. I ran out at 4:20 today, believe it or not,” Clarke told CBC News. “I’m a little shocked that I sold out so fast, and also very upset that I don’t have product for everybody. I’m letting down a lot of people here and I was assured that if I paid for the cannabis I would receive it.” Clarke said he only received $10,000 worth of a $70,000 order from his supplier, adding he doesn’t know why his order was short, why there is a delay or how long it’ll take to get restocked. He gets his cannabis from suppliers such as Canopy Growth. “I pray that something gets shipped to me overnight so I’ll have some product for tomorrow,” he told CBC. “If I don’t get any product I’m going to keep the shop closed and spend a couple of days with my family.” Something Stinks The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC), the corporation responsible for cannabis regulation, told CBC that the issue goes beyond available product. Evidently Health Canada declared one supplier’s crop unfit, and has yet to approve another supplier’s packaging for product that is otherwise ready to ship. Cannabis producers are doing their best to keep up with demand, but they can’t make marijuana plants grow any faster, an NLC spokesperson said. But the Tweed cannabis store on Water Street in downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland, which is owned by Canopy Growth, confirmed to the CBC that they are doing fine with their cannabis supply, and are still welcoming shoppers to the store. Tweed opened its doors to much fanfare as the “first” store to make a legal cannabis sale at 12:01 on Oct. 17, and Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton was on hand to pose with the first customers to buy legal weed under the new Canadian law. Meanwhile, across the island, stores like Clarke’s are having to shut down while they await the next shipment of cannabis from suppliers like Canopy. Is Canopy Growth employing anti-competitive business practices in Newfoundland? High Times is following the situation closely. Stay tuned for updates on legal cannabis from “The Rock.” The post Marijuana Shortage in Newfoundland One Day After Legalization appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  9. A Canadian Girl Guide capitalized on the legalization of cannabis in her country by selling cookies to consumers waiting in line for legal pot. Elina Childs, a 9-year-old girl from Edmonton, Alberta, sold a wagonload of Girl Guide cookies outside a cannabis dispensary in just 45 minutes. Elina’s father, Seann Childs, said the family had been trying to come up with a new way to sell the confections. “We’ve sold cookies in the neighborhood before with her and it’s door to door. People aren’t home. There’s dogs and everything else,” said Childs. “We thought, ‘Where can we go to sell them?’ It just so happens that legalization was coming up in a couple of days.” So on Wednesday, the day recreational cannabis sales became legal in Canada, Elina filled her wagon with three cases of cookies and headed to one of Alberta’s six cannabis dispensaries. “It was well received,” said Childs. “People thought it was awesome. There were people telling her she was doing a great thing, that it was very innovative. There were cars stopping on the street to buy cookies from her. It was really something else. I’d never seen anything quite like that.” After only 45 minutes of selling to those queueing up outside the dispensary, the cookies were gone. “We were sold out in no time,” Childs said. Childs said that Girl Guides activities are a way to help keep Elina healthy. “She actually has cystic fibrosis, so we encourage her to get out there and do things and be active,” Childs said. “Girl Guides is one part of that.” A Teachable Moment About Cannabis Elina’s father said he used the sales outing as a chance to teach her that there are medicinal uses of cannabis she might want to explore when she is older, noting that smoking is usually not good for her. “This was one day she could benefit from smoking,” said Childs. “We saw that as an opportunity to get out there and teach her a little about what cannabis is.” Childs added that he didn’t think that Elina is ready for cannabis yet. “Obviously she’s not going to be using it before she’s 18, I hope, but we like to have frank discussions with her, so she understands what it is and take away that mystery behind it—just to show her people of all ages and all walks of life are doing this and it’s legal in Canada now, just demystify it for her so it’s not a big deal for her,” he said. Girl Guides Leadership Praises Sales Savvy Heather Monahan, the commissioner of the Edmonton Girl Guides, applauded Elina’s ingenuity and efforts to sell the cookies. “Good on her and her family for thinking of it,” said Monahan. “It’s fun and it’s different and what better way to get rid of cookies.” But after Elina’s success was shared on social media, Monahan began receiving inquiries wondering if the girl’s sales tactics were permitted. “Why wouldn’t it be?” she said. “It wasn’t like she was in the store—that would be a whole different ball game.” “I think it’s wonderful,” Monahan added. The post Canadian Girl Guide Capitalizes on Cannabis Legalization With Cookie Sales appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  10. Yesterday was the first day of Canada’s history-making cannabis legalization. Not surprisingly, retailers throughout the country saw a lot of activity. In particular, marijuana sales in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island exceeded the six-figure mark—and that was just on day one. Explosive Sales in Prince Edward Island Local media sources reported total sales in Prince Edward Island were worth $152,408 on the first day of legal weed. Those sales came from a few different sources. For starters, the province’s online sales went live at midnight on Tuesday. By the end of the day on Wednesday, online sales from the site peaked at nearly $21,000. Along with the province’s online market, there are currently three brick and mortar cannabis shops. These shops accounted for the remaining $130,000 or so. According to local reports, customers were apparently very excited to buy from their local dispensaries. Customers began lining up to make their first legal recreational purchases as early as 7 a.m. By the end of the day, Charlottetown saw the most activity. The dispensary in that town did just over $61,000 worth of marijuana sales. The town of Summerside had the second most activity, with $37,733 worth of cannabis and cannabis products being sold. And finally, the marijuana store in Montague did $32,674 in cannabis retail. There is a fourth dispensary currently in the works. That one will reportedly open in O’Leary. Prince Edward Island and Legal Marijuana Although Canada’s federal government made cannabis legal across the entire country, individual provinces and local governments still have the ability to set many of their own rules and regulations. In Prince Edward Island, local lawmakers have chosen to limit retail activity to the four dispensaries. Each of these will be government-run rather than private. In addition to these shops, the province is also operating the online sales portal. Additionally, the province is allowing a home delivery option for consumers. Prince Edward Island has chosen to set its own age limit for purchasing legal weed. The federal government has set the minimum age at 18. But in Prince Edward Island, the age is 19 and up. For adults in the province, there is no limit on how much weed consumers can have in their homes. The limit for public possession is 30 grams. That limit matches the national rule. One of the big questions for local governments so far has been whether or not to allow any sort of public consumption sites. Some places have considered the idea of cannabis cafes, lounges, bars, or tasting rooms. But others have been firmly opposed to such establishments. So far, Prince Edward Island has chosen not to allow public consumption. As a result, adults in the province are only allowed to consume cannabis in private residences. After legalizing marijuana yesterday, Canada has become the largest nation in the world to do so. To date, Uruguay has arguably been the most progressive country when it comes to cannabis legislation. Uruguay legalized marijuana in 2013. Then in 2017, the country began selling legal weed over the counter at pharmacies. Together, Uruguay and Canada are challenging international laws related to weed. These challenges could potentially open the door to similar changes in marijuana laws in countries around the world. The post Canadian Province Prince Edward Island Rakes in Over $150K in First Day of Legal Cannabis Sales appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  11. A new report shows that black cannabis users in Alabama are being disproportionately targeted for arrest and prosecution. The report, “War on Marijuana,” was released on Thursday by the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The report details the impact cannabis prohibition can have on the lives of black Alabamans, including one man who spent 15 months in jail for a dime bag of weed. “This war on marijuana is one whose often life-altering consequences fall most heavily on black people,” the report said. Researching arrests from 2016, the most recent year data was available, the report found that black people were nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. The disparity for marijuana felonies was even greater, with arrests of blacks five times as likely as whites. The difference comes despite research that shows that blacks and whites use cannabis at the same rate. The rate of disparity was highest in a small number of counties. Of the 50 Alabama law enforcement agencies with the most arrests for marijuana possession, the study found that seven police forces were 10 times as likely to arrest blacks. Statewide, marijuana possession had the highest disparity among blacks and whites out of 20 of the most common arrest offenses. Carlos Chaverst, a Black Lives Matter activist in Birmingham, said that members of the black community are policed more vigorously than white people. “It’s a direct correlation with what we’re seeing on the ground,” said Chaverst. “Because we are still in the deep South and the Bible Belt, there’s still overt racism here.” Prohibition A ‘Waste Of Tax Dollars’ Frank Knaack, the executive director of Alabama Appleseed, said that the prohibition of cannabis is costly and unjust. “Alabama’s war on marijuana is a monumental waste of tax dollars, undermines public safety, and is enforced with a staggering racial bias,” said Knaack. “The impact of an arrest for possessing marijuana is often significant, and the consequences can last for years. Even an arrest for the possession of a small amount of marijuana can upend somebody’s life by limiting their access to employment, housing and college loan programs, and leaving them trapped in a never-ending cycle of court debt.” Knaack said that the resources spent prosecuting marijuana offenses could be put to better use elsewhere. “In 2016 alone Alabama spent over $22 million on the enforcement of its marijuana possession laws,” Knaack said. “At the same time, the state agency tasked with analyzing forensic evidence in all criminal cases, including violent crimes, faced a crippling backlog. It’s time for Alabama to invest its resources on strategies and programs that will help keep our communities safe—investigating serious crimes and providing substance abuse and mental health programs.” Lisa Graybill, the deputy legal director for the SPLC, said that the war on marijuana continues Alabama’s legacy of racial injustice. “Alabama continues to shoot itself in the pocketbook with harsh, outdated laws that create needless suffering for its residents, particularly for black people who are still living with the legacy of Jim Crow,” said Graybill. “It’s past time to reform laws that perpetuate discrimination.” Graybill said that it is time for Alabama to reform the laws that prohibit the use and possession of cannabis. “Alabama should follow the lead of other states that have realized marijuana prohibition is self-defeating and counterproductive,” Graybill said. “We’re draining scarce resources and driving people further into poverty—and there’s no public safety benefit. Even Mississippi has decriminalized small amounts of marijuana.” The post Report Shows Alabama Disproportionately Targets Black Cannabis Users appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  12. Last Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was seeking public comments regarding “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use ….” of cannabis and other substances currently under international review. If you want to take FDA up on its offer, go here. The FDA’s announcement was released as the World Health Organization (“WHO”)’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (“ECDD”) prepares to discuss the medical and legal status of cannabis in a November meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Specifically, the ECDD is evaluating whether to recommend that certain international restrictions be placed or removed on the plant. As we have previously discussed (here and here), marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I substance under U.S. federal law and international drug treaties. Schedule I drugs, substances, and chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and with a high potential for abuse. Consequently, nations that are signatories to these international drug treaties are expected to treat cannabis as an illegal substance. However, depending on the outcome of the survey conducted by the ECDD, the November meeting may bring us one step closer to the rescheduling of cannabis, giving signatories the freedom to decriminalize, and possibly legalize, the plant within their own borders. Legalization advocates are hopeful that a careful review of the medical values of the plant will result in the rescheduling of marijuana. Groups like the Marijuana Policy Project intend to submit scientific and anecdotal evidence detailing the benefits of cannabis. Their optimism is undoubtedly fueled by previous ECDD recommendations to deschedule “preparations considered to be pure CBD,” the non-psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant, which the ECDD concluded did not appear to have abuse potential nor present a significant risk to the public health. However, even if the ECDD report were to favor the legalization of cannabis, it would take some time to implement this global reform. In its announcement, the FDA explained that it will not make any recommendations to the ECDD regarding whether cannabis should be subject to international controls at the moment. Instead, it will defer such consideration until the ECDD has made official considerations to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which are expected to be made in mid-2019. Moreover, the FDA declared that any position it takes on this issue will be preceded by another Federal Register notice, soliciting public comments. Of course, the United States could deschedule marijuana before the international community takes that step—after all Canada, Uruguay and Portugal have managed to go around the international ban. According to a recent Fox News interview of Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), the Trump administration intends to relax federal marijuana laws and regulations after the midterm election. Rep. Rohrabacher declared he has been “talking to people inside the White House” about ending cannabis prohibition and that he has been “reassured” that the president will stick to his promise to protect state cannabis laws from federal interference. While it is premature to determine whether the Trump Administration will soon loosen, and possibly legalize, federal cannabis laws, it is clear that the international effort to study the medical and legal status of cannabis are promising steps. View the full article
  13. Winnipeg police are off to a white hot start so far, as the first weed-related traffic ticket has already been issued. The first ticket was issued by Winnipeg Police Service traffic division inspector Gord Spado around 1AM when he found somebody getting lit in their car — that’s only 59 minutes after the green good stuff was legalized. “An hour into legality, and something illegal,” said Inspector Spado. Winnipeg police quickly took to Twitter to share the news. So … this happened early this morning: A Consume Cannabis in a Motor Vehicle ticket was issued. Just like alcohol, consuming cannabis is legal – and like alcohol, consuming it in your vehicle is **not**. #KnowYourRole pic.twitter.com/RR9AUBv4RN — Winnipeg Police (@wpgpolice) October 17, 2018 The tweet garnered a ton of negative responses pretty quickly, with many people seemingly upset with the new rule. One user even went so far as to ask if Spado could have been sure that it was even THC that the perp was smoking. How did you know that this cannabis had THC in it? Is it ok to smoke Pot without THC in your car? Some people use pot for the CBD? Would you ticket someone for a non-alcohol beer in their car? — Blair Zingle (@BlairZingle) October 17, 2018 Although highly probable that the cannabis was purchased illegally (it only became legal at 12:01, so it’s unlikely somebody could get their hands on it that quickly), the ticket only pertained to the fact that the weed was consumed in a car. “It doesn’t look like anything was pursued as far as the illicit component of it goes,” said Spado. “I think that’s just the education piece of our members, knowing where to go with that. It’s still new to us, too, right, so we’re still learning.” According to Spado, it will be hard to say for sure if weed was acquired illegally. Same goes for edibles, as it will become increasingly difficult to tell if the snacks people consume in their car are actually just regular snacks. “If somebody has an edible in a car and we can prove it, that’s also an offense,” he said. “Sometimes we can [prove it], sometimes we can’t. And when edibles are legally produced commercially, then it might be a little bit easier, because there’ll be packaging and things like that that might be visible.” Don’t let the passive Canadian stereotype fool you — the perpetrator was hit with a hefty ticket in the amount of $672, which isn’t even the most expensive marijuana-related fine you can receive. While a driver carrying cannabis on them can rack up a $237 ticket, consuming cannabis in a car either on the highway or off-road will run you $672. Same goes for smoking or vaping in a public place or provincial park. These fines are nothing in comparison, however, to growing non-medical cannabis in a Manitoba County residence or supplying it to a person under 19. Those things will cost you a cool $2,542. It also goes without saying that driving under the influence can be dangerous; a recent study done at McGill University showed that waiting at least six hours after consumption is the safest time to drive. So, take it slow, Canada. No need to ruin a good thing right away. The post One Hour Into Legalization, Canadian Cops Write First Weed-Related Traffic Ticket appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  14. As Canada legalized the recreational use of marijuana nationwide on Wednesday, government officials announced a simplified and cost-free process to receive a pardon for past minor pot offenses. Scott Bardsley, a spokesperson for Canada’s Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, told ABC News that a law was being drafted to streamline pardons for possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis. “We will be introducing legislation to introduce an expedited pardon process, with no fee, for those with previous convictions for simple possession of cannabis,” Bardsley said. Bardsley said that pardons for past low-level pot crimes were in the interest of justice and fairness. “The reason we’re doing this is because it’s now something that’s legal, and the consequences of the criminal record are disproportionate to the gravity of the offense,” said Bardsley. He also noted that the pardons would only apply to crimes of possession for personal use and “not for trafficking. We’re not talking about dealers or producers or anyone of that sort,” Bardsley said. Under current Canadian law, those with minor marijuana convictions can apply for a pardon of their offense after staying free of other criminal charges for a period of five years. But the process is pricey, costing CA$631 (about US$480). There will be no charge for cannabis possession pardons under the new policy announced on Wednesday. Offenders will be required to apply in order to receive a pardon, however. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said at a press conference on Wednesday morning that pardons for minor convictions are in line with changing public opinion about cannabis. “We will be introducing a new law to make things fairer for Canadians who have been convicted for possession of cannabis,” Goodale said. “It becomes a matter of basic fairness when older laws from a previous era are changed.” Recreational Pot Now Legal in Canada The announcement of easier pardons for pot possession convictions coincided with the enactment of the Cannabis Act, or Bill C-45, making Canada the first G7 nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. As recreational sales of cannabis became legal early Wednesday morning, Ian Power became one of the first people in Canada to buy a gram of legal recreational pot. After making his purchase at a Tweed dispensary in St. John’s, Newfoundland at five seconds after midnight, Power told reporters outside the store that the experience would be a memorable one. “I think it’s one of the biggest moments of my life,” Power said. “There’s a tear in my eye. No more back alleys.” Power added that he intended to keep his purchase, rather than smoking it. “I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall,” Power said. “I’m going to save it forever.” Tom Clarke, who sold marijuana illegally for 30 years, opened a cannabis retail store in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. He made his first legal sale to his father as customers waiting in line cheered. “This is awesome. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this,” Clarke said. “I am so happy to be living in Canada right now instead of south of the border.” The post No Fee or Waiting Period to Get a Pardon for Past Cannabis Convictions in Canada appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  15. In what is perhaps a good reminder that officers of the law also benefit when cannabis is legalized, the Toronto police force celebrated Canada’s new weed state by laying out a sassy new awareness campaign aimed at your insufferable nosy neighbor. “Asking what to do with your frozen meat during a power outage is not a 911 call,” tweeted the police force in a series of multimedia posts on Tuesday. “Smelling weed coming from your neighbour’s home isn’t either.” Asking what to do with your frozen meat during a power outage is not a 911 call. Smelling weed coming from your neighbour's home isn't either. Cannabis is no longer illegal on October 17, 2018. Consumption is allowed for anyone 19yrs or older. Do not call police for this ^sm pic.twitter.com/6aYhbStarS — Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) October 16, 2018 The cops’ pointers are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the massive cultural shift taking place in the country of 36.29 million, where marijuana became legal for possession, sale, and cultivation on Wednesday after Parliament passed Bill C-45 this summer. Canadians may also have to become accustomed to the fact that marijuana products are probably at the top of many of their loved ones’ holiday gift lists—Canada’s census organization has estimated that there will be some $1.02 billion in sales of weed substance by the end of 2018. On a more serious note, governmental organization Health Canada has launched a reasoned campaign that aims to educate teenagers on important subjects like driving while under the influence of weed. Asking police to call your friend because you are out of minutes is not a 911 call. Calling about your neighbour's pot plants isn't either. Cannabis is no longer illegal on October 17, 2018. Up to four cannabis plants will be allowed per household. Do not call police for this ^sm pic.twitter.com/1rUvR9yvcT — Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) October 16, 2018 Canadian cops are still prohibited from on-the-job toking, but cities like Vancouver, Ottawa, Regina, and Montreal have made it clear that officers are allowed to consume marijuana when they are not on duty. The Canadian military has okay’d the usage of green for soldiers as long as it is not within eight hours of reporting for service. But such permissiveness is not the case everywhere. Calgary has taken a zero tolerance policy on stoner cops, which the police officers’ union has made clear it will fight. Toronto police will not be allowed to consume marijuana within 28 days of serving on active duty. Asking for directions because you're lost is not a 911 call. Reporting an adult smoking a joint isn't either. Cannabis is no longer illegal on October 17, 2018. Consumption is allowed anywhere cigarette smoking is allowed except in a motor vehicle. Do not call police for this ^sm pic.twitter.com/7SoescfLM5 — Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) October 16, 2018 One hopes that Canadian law officers will now find themselves with more time to deal with important issues well beyond leafy green horticulture—despite the re-training challenges that will need to be undertaken by K-9 units. As police chief Mark Saunders explained, the shift occasions a learning opportunity for all involved. “This change represents a significant transition, not just for members of the Toronto Police Service but for all Canadians,” said Saunders. “Going forward it is important for everyone to take the time to educate themselves on legalisation.” The police officers’ campaign seems to have a good time breaking down a list of time-wasting reasons to bother Canadian 911 operators, including an adult smoking a joint, neighbors growing marijuana, needing directions because you took a wrong turn on the freeway, and running out of minutes on one’s phone. Let this be a reminder to be considerate of emergency operators’ time! The post Canadian Police Urge People to Stop Calling Them About Cannabis appeared first on High Times. View the full article
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