Tag: legalization

There’s a 3 in 5 Chance That New Mexico’s Next Governor Will Back Legalization

Things are looking up for cannabis advocates in New Mexico, as three of the five candidates in the gubernatorial race support legalizing the adult use of cannabis.

Despite the fact that Colorado neighbors New Mexico to the north—and has been reaping the benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana sales for a few years now—political leaders in New Mexico have remained hesitant to fully endorse legalization.

Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican and a former prosecutor, has vowed to veto any such bill that reaches her desk, according to Ruidoso News.

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But Martinez will soon leave her post, and three of the five candidates support legalizing adult-consumption cannabis, including the front-runner, according to local media reports.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of Albuquerque is considered the front-runner in the Democratic primary because of the amount of money she’s raised and the endorsements she’s picked up. She said in a statement:

“I am committed to working with the Legislature to move towards legalizing recreational cannabis in a way that improves public safety, boosts state revenues, and allows for New Mexico businesses to grow into this new market.”

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According to Ruidoso News, Lujan Grisham added that the state would need to conduct a thorough analysis of recreational cannabis programs in other states, like Colorado or Washington. It’s worth noting that Lujan Grisham was the former state health secretary, and was in that position when the state’s medical marijuana program rolled out.

Peter DeBenedittis, probably the most outspoken of the gubernatorial candidates on the issue of legalizing marijuana, said in a statement on Monday that, “Simply legalizing cannabis for recreational use in New Mexico would generate $400 million in sales, and 16,000 new jobs in the first year.”

DeBenedittis, a political newcomer form Santa Fe, is likely a longshot for the governor’s chair.

Albuquerque businessman Jeff Apodaca, a Democrat, also supports legalizing adult-use cannabis. He says the industry in Colorado and Oregon have worked, but Apodaca remains wary of taxing cannabis too highly.

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“What we’ve learned so far from Colorado and Oregon and the other states that have legalized it is that there are ways we can educate the public, monitor it and create agricultural, production and distribution jobs,” he told the Ruidoso News on Monday.

The lone Republican left in the race, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce of Hobbs, opposes legalizing cannabis. He believes that legalizing the drug comes at too high a cost to the state and to communities.

Rep. Joseph Cervantes, a Las Cruces Democrat, also opposes legalizing cannabis, but does point out that he has in the past sponsored legislation that would significantly reduce the penalties for simple cannabis possession.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Ontario Hypes Penalties for High Driving While Awaiting a Reliable Test

It’s one of the loudest talking points among those who dread Canada’s impending legalization of cannabis: How will law enforcement handle the presumed influx of high drivers soon to be flooding Canadian roads?

On Monday, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke publicly on the topic, announcing enhanced penalties for those caught operating motor vehicles under the influence of cannabis, with the harshest penalties reserved for young drivers, novice drivers, and commercial drivers.

“We had a goal to balance the new freedom that people in Ontario will have to use cannabis recreationally with everyone’s expectation that it will be managed responsibly,” said Wynne.

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Specifics of the upped penalties come from the Canadian Press, which reports young and novice drivers (with a G1, G2, M1, or M2 licence) caught driving high will face licence suspensions of three to 30 days and fines between $250 to $450. Similar fines await operators of commercial vehicles found driving high, along with three-day licence suspensions.

“Overall, under the proposed changes any driver who registers a fail on a roadside screening device would be fined anywhere from $250 to $450,” reports the Canadian Press. “The current fine is $198. Drivers who refuse to provide a sample for a roadside test face a $550 fine under the proposed law, up from the current $198 fine.”

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The perennial problem with tracking high driving: Authorities still lack a reliable roadside test for cannabis impairment, primarily due to cannabis’s ability to remain detectable in bloodstreams days and even weeks after impairment has waned.

The proposed best hope: oral test strips, which would examine THC levels in saliva and are currently awaiting approval by the federal government. (However, as the Toronto Star notes cryptically, “It’s unclear how effective they will be in cold weather.”)

As always, stay tuned.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

High Number of Applicants for Arkansas Medical Marijuana

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Would-be growers and distributors of Arkansas’ initial medical marijuana crop flooded a state office building Monday, turning in thousands of pages of paperwork and handing over thousands of dollars in application fees.

Applicants faced a three-hour wait ahead of Monday afternoon’s deadline, as their number greatly exceeded the clerks available to review paperwork to ensure it was complete. Those hoping to grow medical marijuana had to pay a $15,000 application fee, while potential distributors paid $7,500. Unsuccessful applicants will have half their money refunded.

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Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin said about 300 firms or individuals had submitted applications by the close of business Monday. Clerks were staying late to handle applications from those in the office by the deadline. About 100 people or firms sought to grow marijuana, with the others hoping to distribute it.

“If you can beat us at our game, I give you all the credit in the world.”

Chris Stone, Illinois dispensary operator

Arkansas voters last year approved marijuana use by people with certain medical conditions. The new state Medical Marijuana Commission will review applications after the names of companies and individuals have been redacted and then select up to five growers and 32 distributors. The Arkansas Health Department has approved 1,200 people for a medical marijuana registry, making them eligible to obtain the drug.

Applications from the potential growers and distributors were about 1,000 pages long, on average. Several who dropped off applications elected not to identify themselves publicly, while others spoke openly about why they considered their applications worthy.

“If you can beat us at our game, I give you all the credit in the world,” said Chris Stone, who operates two dispensaries in Illinois. He has teamed with a pair of Arkansas pharmacists and wants to grow marijuana in the rich, agricultural lands near Brinkley and distribute marijuana at a dispensary on the east side of Jonesboro.

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He said his firm failed in a previous attempt to win a grower’s permit in Illinois, but took the feedback from that loss to fashion a pair of 1,800-page applications in Arkansas.

“Those with successes in other states probably have a leg up on those who are putting together an application for a first time,” he said.

Approval for medical marijuana passed with 53 percent of the vote last November, but the ballot issue lost in nearly half of the state’s 75 counties.

Jerry Cox, the president of the Arkansas Family Council, which opposed the effort, said his group would help leaders in cities and counties that don’t want marijuana operations nearby by suggesting language for local petitions. A provision in the medical marijuana law gives communities a local-option on allowing them — similar to allowing liquor sales in some Arkansas counties (called “wet”) and not in others (called “dry”).

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“There have been some communities that have expressed angst about there being a marijuana facility in their community. It’s only fair to give them a chance to opt out,” he said. “We have wet and dry counties. Why shouldn’t it be the same for marijuana?”

Hardin said there is no timetable for when applications must be approved or medical marijuana distributed.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

New Brunswick Announces $90 Million Cannabis Buy

Among the many questions facing Canadian provinces as the country speeds toward its July 1 cannabis-legalization deadline: Where will all this freshly legal recreational cannabis come from?

Late last week, New Brunswick stepped up with an answer, announcing multimillion-dollar deals with a pair of federally licensed medical marijuana producers. New Brunswick’s Organigram Holdings will supply the province with five million grams of cannabis a year, and Ontario’s Canopy Growth Corp. will provide an additional four million grams per year.

Together, the two producers will sell New Brunswick over $90 million worth of cannabis annually. “As part of their supply agreements with New Brunswick, Canopy and Organigram said they will help fund public education or social programs,” reports the Financial Post. (The Post also notes that shares of both Canopy and Organigram rose on the day of the deal’s announcement, “closing up by 2.09 per cent and 16.74 per cent, respectively.”)

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Speaking to CBC News, Canopy Growth president Mark Zekulin expressed excitement about “one of the biggest drug deals in Canadian history,” while Organigram CEO Greg Engel noted the deal will require his company to double its number of employees over the next six to eight months.

Along with its humongous cannabis buy, New Brunswick also announced the creation of a new Crown corporation that will oversee—but not conduct—cannabis sales. “[T]he creation of this new provincial Crown corporation provides the flexibility and lays the groundwork for the eventual retail model once final decisions around that have been made,” Provincial Finance Minister Cathy Rogers said in a press release.

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This “Crown corporation” model has already drawn criticism, with Tory MLA Ross Wetmore telling the CBC that such a model requires the government to assume the costs of distribution and all liability for sales. “We don’t know how the sales are going to go, it’s going to be legal all across the country,” he said. “People aren’t going to flock to New Brunswick.”

Meanwhile, the New Brunswick Medical Society praised the arrangement as the best approach for regulating recreational cannabis sales. “We reiterate our recommendation that, unlike NB Liquor, the corporation managing the sale of cannabis should not be profit-driven or subject to a profit target established by the provincial government,” said Dr. Dharm Singh, president-elect of the society, in a statement to the CBC.

Stay tuned for specifics on how and where New Brunswick’s $90 million worth of cannabis will be sold (and for how much).


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

“It’s Impossible”: Canadian Police Challenge Legalization Deadline

Many Canadians are pleased that the federal government is going to legalize recreational marijuana next July but others are not—and some of the most vocal critics of that date are those who will be responsible for enforcing the new laws.

The deputy commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police made that abundantly clear on Sept. 12, when he appeared before the parliamentary health committee studying the proposed legislation. “If legislation is ready to go in July 2018, policing will not be ready to go in August. It’s impossible,” Rick Barnum stated plainly. He said the legislation represents “a great step” but added that it should be taken “slowly and properly.”

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Mike Serr, co-chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police drug advisory committee, asked members of parliament to consider giving law enforcement officials more time to get ready—a request that the association had submitted in writing days earlier.

Law enforcement officials say they need more time to teach police how to enforce the new laws.

Law enforcement officials across the country say they need more time to teach police officers how to enforce the new laws. They also need time to double the number of officers who are certified to conduct roadside tests for drug-impaired driving. In July, Canadian Association of Chiefs Of Police President Mario Harel said about 2,000 certified officers would be needed, more than three times the current total.

In an interview with Leafly, Wayne Kalinski, vice chair of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police’s substance abuse committee, explained that Canadian police officers have to be sent to Arizona to learn how to detect drug impairment in drivers. In addition to being time-consuming, it’s costly, he said, as is replacing those officers during their absence.

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Ottawa recently responded to the law enforcement community’s pleas for more resources by designating $274 million to help police and border officials cover costs stemming from the new law — but the timing was far from ideal. The money will start to flow after the legislation is enacted rather than before, which is when police say they need it.

Kalinski points to other problems that have yet to be addressed.

While a breathalyzer measures the amount of alcohol in a driver’s blood stream, there is currently no equivalent device for detecting THC, he says, at least not one that has been given the stamp of approval by Canadian law enforcement officials.

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But even if there was such a device, how much THC would be considered too much? Though a driver with two nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood would be considered legally impaired under the new legislation, there is no scientific consensus on how much THC constitutes impairment. Also, that THC limit is low enough that a person could exceed it a week or two after ingesting cannabis.`

What if the federal government refuses to delay legalization?

As Barnum told the House of Commons committee, if legislation is enacted next July, police won’t be ready for six months to a year afterwards, creating a window of time during which organized crime could flourish. That would cause so much damage it would be “very, very hard [for law enforcement to] ever regain a foothold,” he said.

Kalinski told Leafly “police would continue to enforce laws as best they could” if the legislation was enacted in July but they are hoping the government will give them more time and resources.

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So far, Ottawa seems unwilling to budge on the legalization date. In June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa had given authorities “lots of time” to prepare for legalization and added that it was “time to move on.”

Former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, who is now parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice and who served as chair of the federal task force on marijuana legalization, recently told reporters he doesn’t have authority to approve or deny a delay but seemed to imply one wasn’t necessary. “I think it’s important that we focus on getting this job done as quickly as we are able. We have established a pretty tight timeline, a difficult timeline, but that challenge is I think an important one, and everybody is working hard to get it done.”

We want to get our people proper training and equipment,” Kalinksi told Leafly. “There is no point in enacting legislation without us being prepared. That would just put us behind the eight ball.”


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

‘It’s High Time to Address Research Into Medical Marijuana’: The Week in Cannabis Quotes

To paraphrase Earth, Wind & Fire:

Do you remember
All of these quotes in September?
If not, don’t be a pretender
Get caught up with this roundup today

We’ve got Alex Jones being Alex Jonesy, editorial boards urging Congress to protect cannabis and hemp, Orrin Hatch dusting off his book of marijuana puns, and more. Here’s a roundup of quotes from the past week.

– Far-right radio show host Alex Jones holding President Trump accountable for a campaign promise he never made

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“Congressional leaders cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand. Decades of experience have shown that the U.S. can’t win a war on marijuana. Moreover, waging such a war now would hurt the millions of people who rely on medical cannabis for relief and would overrule the many, many voters who have supported medical and recreational use of marijuana.”

– The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board urging Congress to listen to voters’ “overwhelming support for medical marijuana” 

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“It’s really going to be up to local governments but I’m hopeful that they will start to look at this  and basically experiment with different ways to provide public use.”

– Senator Tick Segerblom (D-NV), exploring options for Nevada to establish legal cannabis lounges

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“While this action provides a measure of certainty for the millions of medical marijuana patients and the clinics and business that support them, much more needs to be done. More than 95 percent of Americans now have state-legal access to some form of medical marijuana. The American people have spoken, and Congress needs to hear them. Ultimately, we need permanent protections for state-legal medical marijuana programs, as well as adult-use. Prohibition is a failed policy resulting in nothing more than wasted resources and lives.”

– Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), issuing a statement regarding the extension of protections for state medical marijuana programs through December 8, 2017

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“Trump could fix the problem by directing his administration to knock pot from its ridiculous position as among the most dangerous of controlled substances. Congress could act as well, and we’re pleased that so many of our congressional delegation, on both sides of the political spectrum, support needed regulatory reforms.”

– The Denver Post Editorial Board calling on President Trump and Congress to “give hemp farmers a break

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– Excerpts from Orrin Hatch’s announcement to improve scientific research on medical marijuana that were highlighted to showcase his deliberate choice of words

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And I think there is some pretty significant evidence that marijuana turns out to be more harmful than a lot of people anticipated, and it’s more difficult to regulate than I think was contemplated ideally by some of those states.”

– Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaking at the Heritage Foundation about whether the Trump administration will reverse the Cole Memo

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Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

“Exchanging Prohibition for Extreme Regulation”: Toronto Braces for New Cannabis Reality

A month before Project Claudia began, Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpott announced that the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would introduce legalization legislation in the spring of 2017.

On the heels of this announcement, the dispensary market in Toronto, which had previously been operating in relative obscurity for decades, exploded. “There was this little period where I promise you it felt like cannabis was legal in Toronto,” says Cory Thompson, who owns two dispensaries in the city. “There was this overall feeling that cannabis was legal in Canada. Like quasi. It’s coming. We’re there. It’s all good. Then boom. The raids start. They start swarming all the dispensaries.”

“I wanted to be a patient and patient provider at the table but they aren’t even listening to us.”

dispensary owner and MMJ patient Cory Thompson

Thompson has multiple sclerosis and in 2012, while confined to a wheelchair, he began studying the medical potential of cannabis. Intrigued, he sought out a compassion club which secured him affordable access to the plant. He purchased a pound of bud, turned it into oil, and a few days later, his big toe moved. He skipped his next doctor’s appointment. Three weeks later, he was out of the wheelchair and moving with the assistance of a walker.

During his recovery, Thompson had to travel long distances to pick up his medicine, making trips that were often difficult and exhausting. It was enough to push him into business. With a partner, he opened a compassion club of his own, with reduced prices for medical patients. After a few years of operation, the club was raided and shut down.

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“It’s frustrating,” he says. “If you want weed you can go get it but if you want medicine, and you need it at an affordable rate, what I call dignified access, that’s few and far between.”

For the time being, Thompson is optimistic that his dispensaries will remain open. He is extremely thorough with his client screening, checking paperwork and medical records and calling doctors, but he’s not sure what the future holds. The threat of robbery or raid, Thompson says, even for those doing their due diligence, is a thought that never really goes away.

“It’s fucking trying, man. It’s not what I signed up for. I thought we were going to get regulated. I wanted to be part of that. I wanted to be a voice for the future, for regulation, for patients voices to be heard.

“I wanted to be a patient and patient provider at the table but they aren’t even listening to us.”

Shocking News from Ontario

(John Hryniuk for Leafly)

Last week, things got worse for dispensary owners. The Ontario government unveiled their plan for legalization. The province intends to restrict sales of legal cannabis to 150 government-run stores and a government-run website. Like vermin, the independent dispensaries will be eradicated.

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Almost immediately, the announcement prompted anger and disappointment. “Prohibition is not being lifted,” Harris says, “They are exchanging prohibition with extreme regulation.”

“This is a tyrannical plan from the provincial government,” says Jack Lloyd, a Toronto-based cannabis lawyer. “It’s a ridiculous plan and it doesn’t respect the cannabis culture that exists. It doesn’t respect the cannabis community that exists. It’s an attempt to deracinate our entire community and it doesn’t respect patients’ rights.”

Lloyd is not interested in the recreational side of the issue. The government can have that, he says, “but medical cannabis dispensaries are vital and patients deserve to be able to go to a storefront dispensary to be able to access their medicine.”

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“Prohibition is not being lifted. They are exchanging prohibition with extreme regulation.”

dispensary owner Trevor Harris

Last month, in Ontario Superior Court, Lloyd argued that dispensaries cannot be prohibited from operating when the government’s current medical cannabis system is broken and can’t keep up with demand. He was fighting on behalf of the Hamilton Village Dispensary, which had been ordered to shut down by the City of Hamilton. The judge sided with Lloyd, ruling that the dispensary could stay open as long as they were supplying medical cannabis to patients with a valid prescription.

A similar case will be before the courts next week in Toronto. What happens there will impact how the city handles dispensaries moving forward. “If they win there, the city is going to be forced to license them,” Lloyd says. “This is the big fight.”

Paul Lewin is one of the lawyers involved in that case and, like Lloyd, he’s frustrated by the proposed Ontario regulations.

“This plan is not very popular across a large part of the cannabis community,” he says. “[The dispensaries] are going to be driven further underground, which of course makes things less safe for Toronto. Prohibition has that effect, you drive industry further underground. So instead of well-lit stores on main streets in which they are security guards and tested products, it’s a little more old-school, which is a little less safe, but I don’t think they’re going away. The cannabis community has suffered through 100 years of prohibition and they are resilient.”

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Lewin, who represented many of the employees who were caught up in Project Claudia, says that the raids disproportionately affect young working Canadians.

“These are very serious charges that are being laid against these young people,” he says, “Some of whom were having a hard time finding a job, some who are medical patients and have great sympathy for other medical patients and have valuable knowledge and skills. They are facing very serious jeopardy. They are still Harper-era mandatory minimums on the books. I think it’s really irresponsible to be using the criminal law in this way.”

It is difficult to identify the motivating force behind the raids, though they are some popular theories.

(John Hryniuk for Leafly)

“I think it’s being pushed by higher ups,” says Paul Lewin. “I can tell you that many cops are not very excited about these raids and realize that it’s really a very low policing priority. This is being pushed from above. Dispensaries have been operating openly in Toronto for about 20 years and no one cared too much about them until we started to get closer to legalization. Ironically, it’s on the eve of legalization, when the government announces their plans for legal cannabis, that they want to launch an enforcement summit to shut down dispensaries? They’re most concerned now? When it’s about to be legal? Which really tells you what their priorities about. They’ve got this public health fig leaf that they are trying to hold up but it’s not about public health, it’s about them making money and protecting their turf.”

“It reeks of cronyism. (LPs) are using the police to enforce their business plan. It’s terrifying.”

cannabis lawyer Jack Lloyd

Some point to Canada’s licensed producers (LPs), the federally approved growing operations whose relationship with the dispensaries is acrimonious, at best. Many of the LPs are staffed with board members with political ties and individuals who were once waging the war on cannabis and are now putting themselves in a position to cash in once legalization arrives.

Former Toronto Police chief Bill Blair is handling the legalization file for Trudeau’s government. Kim Derry, who served as deputy chief under Blair, is the security adviser for THC Meds Ontario. Former Ontario deputy premier George Smitherman is also employed by the company. Canopy Growth, the largest publicly-traded medical marijuana company in Canada, was founded by Chuck Rifici while he was CFO of the Liberal Party of Canada.

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“It reeks of cronyism,” Lloyd says. “The problem is they are using the police to enforce their business plan. It’s terrifying, to be frank. And mark my words they are going to go through and arrest literally hundreds of Canadians under the age of 25, who believe in the cannabis plant and work in this world and really would never have anything to do, or never have any interaction otherwise, with criminal law.

“They could have very easily, simply licensed all the existing dispensaries and that would have solved this problem. Instead, they’ve elected to declare war on a group of political activists, moderate civil disobedient activists, cannabis enthusiasts and cannabis legalization activists. They are just arresting the culture. To say that it’s draconian is an understatement.”


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Canadian Police Sound the Alarm Over Legalization Deadline

Canada’s police services told the Canadian government Tuesday that there is no chance they will be ready to enforce new laws for nationwide legalized cannabis by next summer.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police already wrote to the federal government this week officially requesting a delay in implementation of the plan by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to implement legal cannabis sales next July 1.

Police say they need more time to properly train officers about the new laws.

Some of the premiers of Canada’s 10 provinces told the government in June that they also might not be ready by that deadline, and only one province has completed and published its rules for the sale of recreational cannabis, including regulations on where it can be sold.

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Representatives from the police chiefs association, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Saskatoon Police Service said that they need more time to properly train officers about the new laws and that they will have to more than double the number of officers certified to conduct roadside tests for drug-impaired driving. They also said more time is needed for public education.

Appearing before a Parliament health committee studying Trudeau’s bill to make marijuana legal, the representatives also called for the government to reconsider allowing people to grow the plant at home. They said it will be difficult to police and could make it easier for young people to obtain marijuana.

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Bill Blair, the parliamentary secretary to Canada’s minister of justice, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that police departments have questions that need to be answered and said the federal government knows there is an enormous amount of work to do.

“Certainly the time lines are tight. I very much respect what law enforcement said today. We’ve listened to their concerns,” said Blair, a former police chief in Toronto. “We can’t allow the status quo to remain because it’s unacceptable. We have the highest rates of cannabis use in the world. The entire cannabis market is controlled by criminal enterprise.”

Blair said the provinces of British Columbia and Quebec have said they will be ready and noted that Ontario has announced its rules for legal cannabis.

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Ontario, which is Canada’s most populous province, announced Friday that marijuana will be sold in as many as 150 government-run stores and a government-run website. It decided pot would not be sold at government-run alcohol stores, and private marijuana dispensaries that have sprung up around the province will be illegal.

Legalization would make Canada the second country to have nationwide legalization, after Uruguay.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Maine Lawmakers Propose 20% Sales Tax on Adult-Use Cannabis

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers want to double the recreational marijuana sales tax to 20 percent.

The Legislature’s marijuana legalization committee will consider the issue at a Sept. 26 public hearing. Lawmakers say they’ll likely postpone legalization of recreational marijuana sales past February.

The committee had supported adding a 10 percent excise tax on business owners who sell marijuana on top of the 10 percent sales tax. A draft marijuana bill released Tuesday calls for a 20 percent sales tax.

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Committee co-chair Democratic Rep. Teresa Pierce said the tweak was due to the committee’s lack of taxing expertise. She said an excise tax could allow more predictability.

Legalize Maine President Paul McCarrier said tax hikes will empower the black market. He said Maine would get the most tax revenue from a sales tax.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Massachusetts Cannabis Regulators Meet Publicly for 1st Time

BOSTON (AP) — With no staff or permanent office space and only a limited budget, the newly appointed board that will regulate marijuana in Massachusetts met publicly for the first time Tuesday, more than 10 months after voters voted to legalize recreational cannabis.

Among the first votes taken by the five-member Cannabis Control Commission was to allow its chairman, Steven Hoffman, to also serve as interim executive director of the agency until a permanent director is hired.

“We have a lot of work to do, and we need to get started right away,” said Hoffman, noting deadlines spelled out under the November ballot and later revised by the Legislature.

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The first meeting of the commission was largely procedural and lasted barely a half hour. The word “marijuana” was never spoken, but Hoffman and the other commissioners reiterated their commitment to carrying out the will of the electorate and doing so in an “open and transparent” manner.

Four of the five commissioners on the panel voted against Question 4 in November.

Future meetings would be held not only in Boston, but around the state, Hoffman said.

While it became legal in December for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to a dozen cannabis plants in private homes, there remains no legal way to buy the drug for non-medical purposes in Massachusetts, and the first retail cannabis shops aren’t expected to open until next July at the earliest.

The Legislature voted to delay key regulatory deadlines for six months while drafting a set of revisions to the law that were signed early last month by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, allowing regulatory commission members finally to be appointed.

Sponsors of the ballot question complained that Massachusetts is the only one of the eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana to delay implementation. They also expressed alarm that four of the five commissioners on the panel had voted against Question 4 in November.

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Jim Borghesani, spokesman for Yes on 4, said while those concerns have not been eliminated, he was encouraged by the early tone struck by the board and the stated commitment by Hoffman, a retired business executive, to meet deadlines for licensing marijuana businesses.

“This is what 54 percent of Massachusetts voters said in November they wanted to see happen,” Borghesani said.

The commission’s first major act should be asking Baker and lawmakers for more funding, Borghesani added. The state so far has released $500,000 of a $2 million appropriation for the agency’s operations in the current fiscal year. Hoffman said after Tuesday’s meeting that “substantially more than $2 million” would likely be needed.

Commissioner Britte McBride, a former assistant attorney general, called for an executive director to be named as quickly as possible to avoid potential conflicts arising from Hoffman’s dual role. The chairman agreed he would hold the interim role no longer than necessary.

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The other commissioners are former Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Flanagan; Kay Doyle, former counsel to the state’s medical marijuana program; and Shaleen Title, who headed a cannabis industry staffing firm.


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