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Crosscurrents

Cannabis News Roundup: 01.01.16

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U.S. Customs & Border Patrol, under CC license from Flickr
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Bails of marijuana found in boat captured by US Border Patrol.

Surgeon General to review drug rules… RICO charges dropped in Berkeley… Mexican farmers converting to other crops… Kosher cannabis… Year-end review… and more.

LEGALIZATION & LEGISLATION

Surgeon General to review federal drug rules // Marijuana.com  The planned report will “take a comprehensive look at illegal drugs as well as currently legal substances like alcohol and prescription medications.”

A look at Canada’s plans for legal cannabis // The Economist  “The market, though growing fast, is still tiny: just 30,000 registered patients buy their supplies from licensed firms.” And the transition to recreational cannabis “will not be easy.”

COPS & COURTS

RICO charge against Berkeley dispensaries dropped // Court House News  The complaint charged “that the city imposed a three-dispensary cap and has handpicked the three to operate as ‘for-profit’ organizations, in violation of state law, to corner the market on medical marijuana.”  The judge did not agree.

Nor Cal drug agent nabbed with 200 pounds of pot // Appeal Democrat  A Yuba-Sutter drug task force agent was arrested while on vacation in Pennsylvania. 

Colorado judge considers banking issue // Gazette.com  Parts of the burgeoning marijuana industry deal in cash because banks are afraid of federal criminal charges. A Colorado judge considering the issue this week “sounded sympathetic to the argument but repeatedly said his responsibility was to answer the legal question and not to solve a fairness issue.”

BUSINESS

“Cannabis Now” magazine at airports // MJ Biz  Daily  “A consumer-focused cannabis magazine announced that it will be available in airports across North America [as of last] week, moving marijuana further into the mainstream and giving businesses a way to reach more patients and MJ users.”

Amsterdam model of public cafes considered in Alaska //  NPR.org   “In November, the Alaska state marijuana control board approved on-site consumption at retail stores. Those businesses could start popping up as early as summer. Each municipality has to give the ultimate OK.” But still, no smoking. 

Mexican farmers abandoning marijuana grows // L.A. Times  U.S. and Mexican governments have tried to get farmers in Mexico to switch to legal crops. It’s finally happening, but not because of any government pressure.

HEALTH

Kosher cannabis now available // Times Union  " ‘(The) announcement sends a really powerful message to people of all faiths and backgrounds that using medical cannabis for the purposes of alleviating pain and suffering in no way, shape or form represents an embrace of pot culture,’ said Ari Hoffnung, Vireo's CEO.” The company is the only kosher-certified company in New York, home to America’s largest Jewish population.

OPINION

Uneasy lies the head that wears the title of Medical Marijuana Chief // Napa Valley Register  “ 'Whoever takes the job will probably have a target on their head,’ predicted Dale Sky Jones, president of Oakland’s Oaksterdam University.”

Has legalization been good for Colorado? // Denver Post   It’s been two years since recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado. Is that good?

IN OTHER NEWS….

2015 – This is the year that was // SF Gate  Top stories compiled by David Downs…

…And it was a good year for anti-legalization // Huffington Post   “2015 will be remembered as the year legalization hit bumps most supporters never anticipated.”

MPP predicts good year for policy reform // Huffington Post  “It's easy to say that 2016 will be the most significant year yet in the battle to repeal marijuana prohibition in the United States.

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