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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Tue, 07 Mar 2017 04:20:21 PST

Nevada: Lawmakers Moving Forward With Expedited Plan For Adult Use Marijuana Sales

Carson City, NV: State officials are holding firm on an expedited plan to begin adult use marijuana sales in July, despite comments from the Trump administration indicating a forthcoming crackdown in states that regulate its commercial production and sale.

Nevada Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein told the Associated Press that the agency is "moving forward" with plans to permit retail cannabis sales by this summer.

Fifty-five percent of voters in November approved Question 2, which legalized the adult use and possession of personal use quantities of marijuana on January 1, 2017. Separate provisions in the voter-initiated law call on regulators to regulate the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults by next year. However, state regulators announced in early February their intention to fast-track retail sales by permitting licensed dispensaries to sell cannabis to non-patients starting July 1.

The move by Nevada officials stands in sharp contrast to those of lawmakers in other states, such as Maine and Massachusetts, where politicians in recent weeks have enacted legislation delaying the implementation of retail cannabis sales. In California, where voters in November passed a similar initiative, lawmakers have also hinted at potentially delaying retail marijuana sales until after the law's intended January 1, 2018 deadline.

Last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the Trump administration is likely to engage in "greater" efforts to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in jurisdictions that have legalized its adult use. Since then, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has falsely alleged that statewide marijuana regulatory schemes are associated with increases in incidences of violent crime, and told a gathering of state Attorney Generals, "[W]e don't need to be legalizing marijuana."

Germany: Medical Cannabis Access Program To Begin In March

Berlin, Germany: Qualifying patients will likely be able to obtain medical cannabis as early as next month, as a result of legislation recently approved by the German government.

Under the new program, regulators will license cannabis cultivation for the purpose of providing it to select patients. Individual patients will not be permitted under the law to grow their own supplies of medicinal marijuana. Health insurance providers will cover patients' marijuana-related expenses.

During the program's initial stages, regulators will import the product from the Netherlands and Canada. Both countries currently regulate medical marijuana production and use.

Germany joins several other nations, including Jamaica and Colombia, which have recently enacted legislation to produce and supply medical marijuana.

US Attorney General: "We Do Not Need To Be Legalizing Marijuana"

Washington, DC: Speaking to a gathering of state Attorney Generals this week, newly sworn in US Attorney General Jeff Sessions blamed recreational drug use for an alleged increase in violent crime and urged officials to reject efforts to regulate the adult use of cannabis.

Sessions disputed scientific evidence that legal cannabis access is associated with lower rates of opioid abuse, warned that states with adult marijuana use regulations remain in violation of federal law, and told attendees, "[W]e don't need to be legalizing marijuana."

One day earlier, Sessions made unsubstantiated claims that statewide marijuana legalization laws are positively associated with violent criminal activity, stating, "Experts are telling me there's more violence around marijuana than one would think and there's big money involved."

Sessions anti-marijuana remarks are consistent with other recent statements by Trump administration officials indicating that the Justice Department is intending to ramp up federal enforcement in states with recreational use laws.

Study: Marijuana Use Stable In Colorado Post-Legalization

Denver, CO: The percentage of Coloradoans who report using cannabis has remained relatively unchanged following the regulation of the adult use market, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Preventive Medicine.

Researchers at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reviewed statewide marijuana use data from January 1, 2014. They reported: "[M]arijuana use, both among adults and among youth, does not appear to be increasing to date. No change was observed in past 30-day marijuana use among adults between 2014 (13.6 percent) and 2015 (13.4 percent). Similarly, there was no statistically significant change in 30-day or lifetime marijuana use among high school students between 2013 (lifetime: 36.9 percent, 30-day: 19.7 percent) and 2015 (lifetime: 38.0 percent, 30-day: 21.2 percent)."

The findings are similar to those from the state of Washington and elsewhere reporting that changes in statewide marijuana laws are not associated with an increase in cannabis use by young people.

Researchers also reported that Coloradoans were most likely to consume cannabis by smoking it (83 percent) as opposed to consuming edibles or vaporizing it - a finding that is consistent with national trends.

Full text of the study, "Lessons learned after three years of legalized, recreational marijuana: The Colorado experience," appears in Preventive Medicine.

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