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Marijuana Legalization Advances Through Mexican Senate
Committees in the Mexican Senate have given their approval of a marijuana legalization bill expected to receive a floor vote this week.
The legislation would approve the use of cannabis by adults 18 and older, allowing for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivation of up to six cannabis plants.
Unlike 15 US states where marijuana is legal, Mexican legalization will allow for public consumption, except where tobacco is prohibited or minors may be exposed. Possession of cannabis over an ounce but less than 200 grams (roughly seven ounces) would be a violation deserving of a fine, but no jail time.
One area of concern for consumers — a provision that would require adults to apply for a license for their home grow — will be eliminated, according to the technical secretary for the Health Committee.
Mexico must legalize marijuana by December 15, due to a 2018 Mexican Supreme Court ruling declaring the criminalization of personal marijuana use to be unconstitutional. That deadline has been extended several times as lawmakers struggle to reach consensus.
Argentina Approves Home-Grown Medical Marijuana, Requires Insurance to Cover It
President Alberto Fernández of Argentina issued a decree on Wednesday expanding the country’s 2017 medical marijuana law allow to allow the home cultivation of cannabis by patients, according to the New York Times.
Patients looking to access cannabis under that law were left with no options but to purchase it on the black market or illegally cultivate it home, a crime which carries a prison sentence of four to 15 years. Under the new decree, patients or their caregivers will need to apply for a home growing license or still face those penalties.
The decree also requires public and private insurance to cover the cost of cannabis products. Pharmacies will also be allowed to carry certain cannabis products under the decree.
NORML Demands Biden Appoint Pro-Marijuana Attorney General
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is calling on citizens to sign on to a petition calling for President-Elect Joe Biden to appoint an attorney general who is amenable to the people’s clear will to legalize marijuana.
NORML writes, “Americans deserve and demand an attorney general who will respect the will of the people and who will let states determine their own marijuana policies, unfettered by the federal government and in accordance with America’s longstanding federalist principles. We demand an attorney general who will direct U.S. attorneys not to interfere in, disrupt, or add unnecessary uncertainty to state-licensed marijuana markets. We demand an attorney general who will marshal the resources of the Department of Justice to review and pardon those convicted of federal minor non-violent marijuana possession crimes. Finally, we demand an attorney general who will acknowledge that the criminalization of marijuana and the stigmatization of those who consume it is a failed public policy that financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law and for law enforcement, and disproportionately impacts young adults and communities of color.”
Visit NORML.org to review the full letter and to add your signature.
Nevada Marijuana Workers Hindered by Licensing Backlog
Legal marijuana establishments are suffering a lack of licensed marijuana workers due to a delay in processing applications in the state of Nevada, according to an AP report by NBC 3 News in Las Vegas.
Nevada’s new Cannabis Compliance Board (or CCB) took over the processing of what are called “Agent Cards” from the state’s Department of Taxation in July.
That’s when the state changed its licensing procedure for Agent Cards from a $75 application for a one-year card to a $150 application for a two-year card.
That caused a flood of applications from those wishing to beat the doubling of the fee.
Many applicants report waiting a couple of months before receiving their cards. Meanwhile, the CCB has been fining businesses that operate using workers with expired cards. In October, one such company, a cultivator called Nevada Medical Group, could be hit with fines as high as $90,000 and the loss of its license for employing six persons with expired Agent Cards.
The CCB is mitigating the situation by extending the expiration dates of permanent cards by 90 days and sending PDFs of temporary cards that are good through January 31.
Massachusetts Marijuana Shops Prepare for “Green Wednesday”
Consumers are adding “Green Wednesday” to their holiday shopping schedule in Massachusetts.
The day after Thanksgiving is popularly known as “Black Friday,” both as the day retailers offer incredible deals for the Christmas shopping season and because that season is when retailers turn a profit, or “go into the black” on their ledgers.
But in Massachusetts and other legal marijuana states, cannabis retailers are putting forth specials on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, perhaps to help build appetites for those big holiday dinners.
Retailers of cannabis, however, must adhere to certain rules of promotion that other retailers don’t have to consider. For instance, in Massachusetts, regulations from the Cannabis Control Commission prohibit coupons, free or donated marijuana at recreational dispensaries.
Retailers are also using the threat of a potential shutdown due to increases in coronavirus cases. Last spring, recreational marijuana shops in Massachusetts were ordered to shut down for two months. Medical marijuana shops were allowed to remain open, however.