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Governor Says Virginia Will Be First Southern State to Legalize Marijuana
Marijuana Moment reports that Gov. Ralph Northam, speaking Friday to WAMU radio’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show, expressed his opinions on legalizing marijuana in the commonwealth of Virginia.
Northam explained that racial justice is a big motivator.
And ensuring people of color have a seat at the table is important to the governor.
Northam seems amenable to the right to home grow.
But he seems less sanguine on the idea of cannabis lounges.
New York Senate Leader Says Legalization is Inevitable
In a press briefing in Albany, New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins described the inevitability of marijuana legalization in the Empire State.
Marijuana Moment reports that the senator’s concerns, like many in the region, regard the equitable distribution of marijuana commerce to people of color.
The senator mentioned that passage of legalization in New Jersey is a big piece of the motivation for legalization in New York, referencing the difficulties the Garden State had in passing legalization legislatively.
Hemp Causes Differing Marijuana Enforcement in Dallas vs. Fort Worth, Texas
The legalization of hemp for medical purposes in Texas is causing disparate enforcement of marijuana prohibition in the neighboring cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, according to Dallas’s NBC 5 TV.
Texas defense attorney Mimi Coffey explains that hemp, under Texas law, is cannabis that tests at less than 0.3% THC by volume. Because current testing only detects the presence of THC, not its concentration, Fort Worth police are no longer arresting or citing people caught with small amounts of marijuana.
Fort Worth is in Tarrant County, where the district attorney, Sharen Wilson, was caught unaware of the change in policy. She had already agreed to dismiss pending marijuana cases for people who pass three drug tests.
But in Arlington, between Fort Worth and Dallas yet still in Tarrant County, police Lt. Chris Cook said the department was still arresting and prosecuting people for marijuana offenses.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Dallas County, District Attorney John Cruezot routinely rejects cases for first-time offenders caught with less than four ounces, even though Dallas police continue to make arrests.
Maine Dispensaries Top $1.4 Million in First Month Sales
On Monday, the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy reported that in the first month of legal recreational marijuana sales, the six authorized dispensaries generated over $1.4 million in sales.
Tax revenue earned by the Pine Tree State was about ten percent of that, or $141,000, according to reporting in the Portland Press-Herald.
The typical customer spent about $66 per sale in the first month of legal sales, according to statewide data. Smokable cannabis, or flower, accounted for 76 percent of initial sales. The average price of bud was $16.67 a gram during the market’s first month, state records show, or $59 for an eighth of an ounce.
By comparison, an eighth of medical cannabis can run $28 to $40, depending on venue, quality and strain. A black-market eighth can be had for $25.
Man Charged in LA Budtender’s Murder
Twenty-seven-year-old Ethan Kedar Astaphan has been charged with the murder of Juan “Cookie” Carlos Hernandez, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Hernandez, 21, was last seen after his shift as a budtender at a south Los Angeles dispensary. His body was found two months later in a shallow grave north of Barstow, California.
If convicted as charged, Astaphan faces a possible maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.