Cannabis is emerging from the shadows of prohibition. Every week, there are advancements in many fields related to cannabis. Smoke Reports will be re-capping the weekly events of the cannabis community and industry, so that you can stay up-to-date on the latest developments. Get ready folks. It’s been a big one!

Ohio Issue 3 Voted Down

On Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015, the state of Ohio voted down Issue 3, the cannabis legalization proposal that gained national attention. Nearly 64% of voters (1,977,263 N; 1,105,674 Y) made it clear that this round of legalization was not for them.

The most interesting aspect of Issue 3 when compared to other proposed legalization bills is that it explicitly wanted to create a production and distribution monopoly. (Actually, it was going to be an oligopoly, with ten licensed businesses controlling market pricing and availability through close communication).

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ResponsibleOhio, the group behind the legalization campaign, spent millions of dollars campaigning around the state, even going as far as creating a cannabis superhero named Buddie that was not received with a whole lot of positivity.

The voters in Ohio also passed Issue 2, which would have eliminated much of the monopoly provisions had Issue 3 been passed as well. The Ohio vote makes it clear that cannabis legalization attempts should not create monopolies, as that power is decisively opposed by the public.

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Senator Sanders Proposes Cannabis Deregulation

Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind. – VT) introduced a new bill to the US Sensate titled: “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015.” The main point of the bill is to eliminate the word “marihuana” from the Controlled Substances Act that currently lists cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as Schedule I drugs.

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You can read the Smoke Reports overview of the bill as well as the full text in our previous blog. Here is a quick rundown on the proposed changes:

  • It would be unlawful to ship or transport cannabis into a state that does not have cannabis laws, even if the cannabis originated in a legalized jurisdiction or nation.
  • “Marihuana” and “Tetrahydrocannabinol” would be removed from the list of Schedule Drugs.
  • Penalties for low amounts of cultivation and production would be eliminated.
  • Cannabis crimes would be removed from the felony conviction list.
  • Items meant to ingest cannabis would no longer be considered drug paraphernalia.
  • “Marihuana” and “marijuana” would be eliminated from corresponding provisions of related drug laws.

Mexico Supreme Court Ruling

Mexico’s Supreme Court passed a 4-1 decision regarding the rights of citizens to cultivate and transport cannabis for personal use. While the ruling only pertains to one organization in particular, it does reflect the changing attitudes toward cannabis in Mexico.

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The majority of the Mexican population as well as government officials opposes cannabis legalization. Nearly 100 million Mexicans are members of the Catholic Church, which staunchly opposes legalization.

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Even though government and policing officials have said cannabis legalization would be detrimental to the already devastating cartel wars, the Supreme Court is setting legal precedent behind the constitutionality of cannabis for personal use.

Sean Parker and friends publish new legalization initiative for CA

ReformCA filed an initiative earlier this year that introduced language for legalized cannabis in California. It only took a few weeks for a competing initiative to emerge, and this new one is backed by some major financial firepower.

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Sean Parker (Napster, Facebook) has filed an initiative that covers many of the same aspects of legalization that can be seen in the ReformCA language, as well as previous legalization attempts. The initiative is called: “The Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.”

Parker’s initiative maintains much of the familiar responsible tax revenue allocation, youth prevention implementation, and public safety programs.

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One of the most interesting parts of the proposed initiative is that licensing would be defined by the first date of operation, and in some cases would require the company to have already been operating in compliance by January 1st, 2015. This means that cannabis legalization would form an economy driven by production and retailer actors that already exist in the medical market.

Upcoming Cannabis Events

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Cannafest – (Prague, Czech Republic: Nov. 6-8)

International hemp fair in the Czech Republic.

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Portland Cannabis Convention – (Portland, ME: Nov. 6-8)

With Medical Marijuna programs running in all 6 states, the New England Cannabis Industry is poised for explosive growth, The Portland Cannabis Convention is the perfect venue for MMJ patients, caregivers, job seekers, Canna-businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, and community partners to learn, network, and get involved in the fastest growing industry in America. There will also be a full array of the latest smoking, vaping, storage, and accessories for sale.

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Hempcon – (San Bernadino, CA: Nov. 6-8)

Vendors, live music, legal services, hydroponics, doctor’s evaluations, glassware, food, and more! Find all things cannabis at Hempcon.

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New West Summit – (San Francisco, CA: Nov. 20-21)

The New West Summit is set to be the first cannabis technology conference, and promises to offer businesses valuable information on the tech opportunities available in the cannabis space.

Smoke Reports will be attending the event as both a pronounced sponsor and a media partner. Tickets to the New West Summit can be found on Eventbrite, where the coupon code “smokereports” can be redeemed for 50% off of the ticket price. The event takes place at the Parc 55 Hotel in downtown San Francisco on November 20th and 21st (Friday and Saturday).

Find out more in our New West Summit blog feature.

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For the most up to date info on Smoke Reports, follow us on Twitter @smokereports or like us on our Facebook page. If you see that we overlooked an event this past week in cannabis, please join the discussion in the comments section below, or through our social media links.