California Still Can’t Figure Out Its Cannabis Banking Problem
Starting next year, sales of recreational marijuana in California are expected to generate $1 billion in sales tax revenue. That’s an amazing amount of cash—emphasis on cash.
As has been the case since the cannabis industry became an industry, most marijuana businesses in America do not have bank accounts, because, thanks to federal law, banks do not accept their money.
This is a problem everywhere: As much as 40 percent of the marijuana businesses in Colorado, which recorded more than $1.3 billion worth of sales last year, do not have bank accounts, the Pew Charitable Trusts reported.
Some local credit unions quietly take smaller accounts, but big banks are staying away.
University Drops Out of Pot for PTSD Study; Vets Demand Answers
Though cannabis is legal in the District of Columbia, there isn’t much medical marijuana access in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area. Virginia is still a no-go zone, and four years after lawmakers in Maryland approved medical marijuana, would-be patients in that state are still waiting for the first delivery.
Keep in mind that the area around the nation’s capital is full of military veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder affects between 10 and 30 percent of vets, and PTSD is one of the conditions for which medical cannabis in Maryland is available—but until that state’s cannabis program becomes active later this summer, at the earliest, one of the only options for area combat vets to (legally) try cannabis for PTSD was through a study.
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore was one of two research institutions in the U.S. to receive funding to see if smoked marijuana helped combat-related stress, as a growing body of anecdotal evidence suggests.
Marijuana equipment start-ups flourish as large rivals avoid legal pitfalls
GREELEY, Colo. – Marijuana’s uncertain legal status across the country has unleashed a network of innovators and entrepreneurs into a space that would ordinarily be filled with name-brand manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and federally funded research universities.
These small “cannabusinesses” are rushing to fill niches and make money in a field where the drug's illegal status at the federal level has made many start-up basics — from getting a new machine to accessing credit — far more challenging. Colorado, for instance, boasts a cottage industry of innovation because it was one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis sales to adults, and also has a highly educated, youthful workforce.
Take Greeley, Colo.-based Leaf, for example: A converted garage in this northern Colorado college town has become a de-facto lab for developing the company’s self-contained marijuana-growing “refrigerator.” The $3,000 wifi-enabled cabinet has a webcam so its owner can monitor the growing plants no matter where they are. One of Leaf’s first employees lives in Greeley because he went to college in the area, and the Tel Aviv-based company decided to keep a local presence. Leaf introduced the cabinet earlier this year and has already sold more than 1,000.
Chris Christie Gets Wish: White House Appointment to Chair Drug Commission
After an unsuccessful run for president followed by an epic and humiliating ass-kissing of Donald Trump, Chris Christie is finally getting his White House job, sort of.
According to the Washington Post, Donald Trump is tapping the New Jersey governor to chair a commission devoted to combatting opioid abuse in America.
The position will be a part-time, volunteer job and will not require Christie to step down as New Jersey’s governor. Sorry, New Jersey.
New medical marijuana laws set industry 'on steroids'
The new medical marijuana laws, according to Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, an opponent of the bills, take a small home-grown industry created by a 2008 ballot proposal "and puts that cottage industry on steroids."
Indeed, under the old law, a caregiver could grow up to 12 marijuana plants for each patient and couldn't serve more than five patients. The law was vague about dispensaries, leading to a glut in some cities like Detroit and Lansing that basically turned a blind eye to the businesses in their communities and a police force in other towns that shut down businesses with impunity
The new laws create three classes of growers: people who can grow up to 500 plants, up to 1,000 plants or up to 1,500 plants. They also create five classes of licenses — those for growers, testing facilities, transporters, the seed-to-sale tracking and dispensaries. Communities can decide whether and where they'll allow dispensaries to operate and charge an annual fee of up to $5,000 per dispensary.
Nevada bill would allow early recreational marijuana sales, enforce higher tax
Two Democrat lawmakers are trying to cut the ribbon on the recreational marijuana program before the state does.
Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, and Assemblyman Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas, pushed for an Early Start program for recreational marijuana sales during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Friday. They presented the bill, Senate Bill 302, as a way to help Gov. Brian Sandoval meet his goal of making $100 million off of the fledgling program and also as a way to smother the existing black market.
The Early Start program would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling recreational product immediately if it passes, although the Department of Taxation already plans to get recreational product on dispensary shelves by July 1. It is unclear if the bill truly could catalyze a program that already is on a fast track.
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