November 7, 2018
- Pete Sessions (R-TX) who blocked every single cannabis amendment for the past 2 years w from advancing to the floor for consideration lost to Democratic challenger Colin Allred.
- A statewide initiative in Ohio to reduce penalties for select drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors has been rejected
- Democrat Ben Jealous, lost his bid for Governor of Maryland. Jealous campaigned on a platform to legalize cannabis and use revenue from cannabis sales to fund a universal pre-kindergarten program.
- B. Pritzker, a Democrat, has beat out incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) to become the next governor of Illinois. Pritzker made Marijuana legalization was a primary campaign promise
- James Comer (R-KY) has been reelected by a large margin. Comer is the chief sponsor of hemp legalization legislation provisions in the U.S. House, which are likely to be included in the Farm Bill
Sports and Cannabis – Canada is encouraging the World Anti-Doping Agency to remove marijuana from the list of substances banned in sports. CBC
Court Rulings, Incoming Ministers Suggest Mexico Destined for Cannabis Legalization. Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday – for the fifth time since Nov. 2015 – that a total prohibition of recreational marijuana consumption is unconstitutional. By reaching five similar rulings, the Supreme Court crossed the threshold that establishes jurisprudence. The ruling doesn’t allow commercialization, but it does permit personal possession and home growing. Immediate consequences of the ruling include:
· The Federal Committee for Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS ) will have to authorize applications of people looking to grow marijuana for personal use.
· Mexican courts are required to follow this precedent in similar cases.
· Parliament must act to amend the necessary laws to reflect the court’s ruling.
Until relevant laws are changed, recreational use is legal only for those who ask – and get approval – for its use. mjbizdaily.com
WSJ Pro-MJ Op-Ed – Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has a pro-marijuana op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
German Medical Cannabis Market to Hit $5 Billion. The Bank of Montreal sees a bright future ahead, including the continued growth of Germany’s medical cannabis program. The bank forecasts that in Germany alone — a country with a population of 82 million people — the medical marijuana market could potentially produce more than $5 billion in revenue for global cannabis producers. There are currently 30,000 medical patients in Germany and an annual legal consumption of 7,200 kilograms. The BMO assumes that in seven years, 7.5 per cent of sleep, anxiety and pain prescriptions in Germany will be replaced with medical cannabis, opening up the medical pot market to roughly 26 per cent of the overall population. internationalcbc.co
High Times Defaults on Senior Secured Promissory Note: According to a recent SEC filing from Hightimes Holding Corp., the parent company of magazine High Times, the company defaulted on repayment of a $587,500 principal amount 5% senior secured promissory note that was due in September. Now, due to the default, a company called Gemini Finance Corp. is set to acquire substantially all of the assets and business of Hightimes’ music and cannabis events division, Wisdom Apparatus and Chalice Festivals USA, for next to nothing. Alongside this, Hightimes also extended the deadline to invest in its pending Reg A+ initial public offering from October 31st, 2018 to as late as November 30th, 2018. The Reg A+ may end sooner than the end of November if all 4,545,454 shares are sold at $11 per share. mjobserver.com
Licensed Canadian Cannabis Growers Have Ties to Organized Crime, Enquête Investigation Finds: An investor in a major Canadian cannabis company has had longstanding ties, including business dealings, with influential Mafia members and drug traffickers, Radio-Canada has learned. Another investor in the same company has links with a prominent member of the Rizzutos, the powerful Montreal crime family. Enquête examined hundreds of documents as part of its investigation, including reviews conducted by Canadian securities oversight bodies. Enquête is not naming the companies or individuals involved. www.cbc.ca
Ontario to Accept Cannabis Retail Applications in December; Here’s How to Prepare: Canada’s largest recreational cannabis market will start accepting applications in December for prospective retail outlets to open next spring. Experts foresee a frenzy of applications out of the gate, as analysts say a fully private cannabis sector in Ontario could support at least 1,000 outlets. Ontario’s regulations to support the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 will “take effect in time to enable the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) to begin accepting retail store applications in December,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed. mjbizdaily.com
Massachusetts – Recreational Marijuana Sales to Start Within Two Weeks, State says: Recreational marijuana sales are expected to start within two weeks, as the state assembles the final pieces of the puzzle to launch the legalized market. Following inspections, the state will issue a “certificate of commence operations,” allowing dispensaries to open for business. www.bizjournals.com
U.N. ‘Shadow Report’ Blasts Drug War as ‘Failure’ – Will the U.N. Take Heed When it Revisits the Question of Drug Policy in 2019? An international network of non-governmental organizations has submitted a “shadow report” to the United Nations, concluding that the war on drugs has been a “spectacular failure” — and calling on the world’s governments to reconsider it. The report takes heart from the growing official tolerance of cannabis in several countries around the world, but warns of escalating and horrific repression in the name of drug enforcement in several others. The International Drug Policy Consortium, a global coalition of some 170 nonprofit organizations, released their “civil society shadow report” on Oct. 21, documenting how the U.N.’s own goal, officially adopted in 2009, to “eliminate or reduce significantly illegal drugs markets” has been “spectacularly missed” — and has instead led to human rights abuses all over the world. The report urges world leaders to adopt a new, more tolerant and realistic drug policy when the U.N. revisits the question at the 10-year mark next March. Cannabisnow.com
Lower-Potency Cannabis Options Speak To An Increasingly Attentive Mainstream Audience: For years, the marijuana industry has been involved in a kind of arms race toward creating super-potent cannabis products. Looking to provide veteran consumers enhanced highs and more bang for the buck, manufacturers over the past few years have gone full throttle to produce cannabis offerings with greater levels of THC (the psychoactive component in weed that gets users high). But that trend looks to be ebbing, in some respects, as an increasing amount of marijuana retailers across North America position themselves toward lower-dose creations that speak to an expanding mainstream audience. Many consumers — some of whom are new to legal weed or are less-frequent users — want to sample the brave new world of pot products without the fear of marijuana’s potentially adverse side effects. That often means taking it slow and low, as far as potency is concerned. The future of cannabis products will no doubt expand massively over the next few years into sports drinks, appetite stimulants, pet care products, sleep aids, and beyond. Looking to provide a broad range of products means those companies will need to continue to also provide a wide range of potencies for the ever-expanding mainstream audience. www.forbes.com
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