How Will Oregon Handle Their Marijuana Situation

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — During their work session yesterday, Jackson County Commissioners previewed potential legislation that could limit cannabis grow licenses to land that is already endowed with water rights.

Commissioners discussed the measure, they say will likely be in front of lawmakers this legislative session, after receiving a recommendation from the Marijuana Advisory Committee on the issue.

“The Marijuana advisory committee recommends that the Jackson County Board of Commissioners requested that ODA (Oregon Department of Agriculture) and OLCC (Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission) include proof of water right during the grower/producer application,” Commissioner Colleen Roberts said, reading the recommendation into the record.

County Administrator Danny Jordan noted that that the county has already been working with its lobbyist to get the issue, as well as others related to cannabis and illegal grows, in front of lawmakers in February.

“It’s on the table to be part of a large package of bills around marijuana,” he said.

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House Republican Reps Move Towards Weed Legislation

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation on Monday that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and eliminate legal hazards facing many cannabis-related businesses while regulating its use like alcohol.

Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina, who is spear-heading the legislative effort, described the bill as a “compromise” with less onerous regulations than measures proposed earlier by other lawmakers including Democrats.

The legislation’s path in the Democratic-controlled House was uncertain. Mace, a first-term lawmaker, said the measure has five Republican co-sponsors.

Adult use of cannabis is legal in 18 U.S. states and allowed medically in 36 states. But it remains illegal under federal law, which has deterred banks and other investors from involvement with companies that sell marijuana or related products.

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Trulieve CEO speaks on growth via M&A, federal pot reform

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The U.S.′ expanding legal marijuana market is helping drive strong sales and profit growth for multistate operators like Trulieve Cannabis Corp.

The Quincy, Florida-based company sells cannabis products in 11 states from Arizona to Pennsylvania. It reported $408.9 million in revenue in the first half of this year, an 89% jump from the same stretch of 2020. Its net income surged 67% over the same period.

The company recently completed its acquisition of Tempe, Arizona-based cannabis company Harvest Health & Recreation in a deal valued at $2.1 billion. 

Trulieve’s latest expansion bid comes as more states allow sales of marijuana in some form or another. 

Adult recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 19 states, with Connecticut, New Mexico and Virginia among those that enacted such laws this year.

Even so, the cannabis industry remains constrained by legal impediments to accessing capital and other challenges stemming from marijuana being illegal at the federal level. The industry is hoping Congress will deliver on long-sought legislation, including the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would free up banks to do business with licensed marijuana companies.

Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers recently spoke to The Associated Press about the impact of the Harvest deal, how her company has weathered the pandemic and the need for federal pro-cannabis legislation. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Florida governor candidate Charlie Crist seeks to legalize marijuana if elected

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Democratic candidate for Florida’s governor Charlie Crist is now pushing to legalize marijuana if he is elected.

Crist joined the list of people pushing for the full legalization of marijuana on Thursday.  It’s all part of his Justice For All campaign. 

“Let me be clear. If I am elected governor, I will legalize marijuana in the sunshine state,” Crist said. 

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California Governor Vetoes Marijuana Billboard Legislation, Saying It Would Put Youth At Risk

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday vetoed a bill that would have allowed marijuana businesses to advertise on billboards along most highways in the state.

The legislation would “weaken” protections included in Proposition 64, the cannabis legalization ballot measure that voters approved in 2016, the governor said in a veto message.

“When the voters passed Proposition 64, they enacted robust protections shielding youth from exposure to cannabis and cannabis advertising,” Newsom wrote. “Among other things, voters completely prohibited billboard-based cannabis advertising on all Interstate Highways, and on all State Highways that cross the California border. Allowing advertising on these high-traffic thoroughfares could expose young passengers to cannabis advertising.”

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Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Ballot Initiative Underway

Nonprofit Arkansas True Grass is working to put an amendment on the November 2022 ballot to allow for the recreational use of marijuana in Arkansas. The group needs 89,101 signatures to make the ballot.

Jesse Raphael, the Northwest Arkansas spokesman for True Grass, said the group has more than 20,000 signatures. The deadline to gather signatures is in June 2022, and he said he felt good about the progress so far.

The group, which formed in 2015, has been gathering signatures of registered voters since mid-2020. It had worked on a medical marijuana initiative that didn’t make the ballot in 2016. Raphael noted the pandemic impacted efforts for a ballot initiative last year.

While True Grass members are among the 79,420 patients in the existing medical marijuana program, he said it has shortcomings, including the limited medical conditions to qualify. Also, it’s accounted for high product prices and doesn’t allow the patients to grow medical marijuana, he explained. The proposed amendment would address these issues, he said.

Under the amendment, residents who are at least 21 could grow up to 12 marijuana plants. Depending on the license acquired, licensees could sell marijuana plants, seeds and products. Also, those in jail for nonviolent, marijuana-related crimes would be released, and anyone convicted of such offenses would have their records expunged. He said the former would affect thousands of people, and the latter would impact tens of thousands who could enter the workforce and reduce the unemployment rate.

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Federally sanctioned marijuana grow operation to open in New Mexico

GRANTS, N.M.  – Marijuana use is becoming more widely accepted – but for decades there’s been one powerful opponent: the federal government. It is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning the feds view it like they view cocaine, heroin and meth.

But, now marijuana is moving into a class of its own because federal officials are finally allowing cannabis to be researched. Politicians and Bright Green Corporation came together in Grants, New Mexico where they will be growing a different type of green because they are breaking ground on a very unique facility.

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Petition to allow cannabis for recreational adult use filed in Oklahoma

A cannabis advocacy group has filed two ballot initiatives seeking to amend the Oklahoma Constitution to legalize cannabis use for anyone at least 21 years old and replace the state medical marijuana industry’s current oversight agency.

“A lot of this is stuff that has been advocated for by a lot of folks in the community and industry over the last three years, and I don’t see it’s going to make it through the legislative process any time soon,” Jed Green, who helped establish the group Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action, said of State Questions 817 and 818.

According to Green, a new Oklahoma State Cannabis Commission would take over industry oversight from the Oklahoma State Medical Marijuana Authority, which had itself been created under the state Department of Health by State Question 788.

Green was among those who helped get SQ788 on the June 2018 ballot, which brought cannabis to dispensary shelves for licensed patients by that fall. As of September, Oklahoma had more than 375,000 licensed cannabis patients, as well as more than 2,300 dispensaries, 8,600 growers and 1,500 processors, respectively.

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