Tag: government (page 1 of 32)

Jeff Sessions and the Uncertain Future of Cannabis

The man who is President Tump’s front-runner for Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, today saw Democrats delay the committee vote for his nomination. Many different groups and organizations oppose Sessions for a number of reasons, all of which reveal some very threatening trends. This has left many Americans on edge, especially members of the nascent cannabis industry.

Jeff Sessions has been quoted as sayinggood people don’t smoke marijuana.” While everything uttered by politicians needs to be taken with a grain of salt, it is no surprise people who live and love cannabis felt pretty uneasy. Sessions has made public statements that the comments were taken out of context, but his history of negative remarks is less than consoling.

The reason Sessions is so threatening for this industry and community is that the position he is vying for currently holds together the rocky relationship between federal and state cannabis laws. Memos from past Attorney Generals allowed for states to implement their own laws, provided they were compliant based on reasonable standards, like reduced youth exposure and other public safety measures.

Despite Jeff Sessions denigrating cannabis users, there are those in cannabis that are not so worried about his nomination. Cannabis is at an all time high in terms of social popularity, with major positive influence from veteran support organizations, medical practitioners, and families of sick children who have miraculous responses to certain cannabinoids.

Federal law has not been supportive of cannabis, and the DEA has made no acknowledgement of the streams of scientific evidence showing the medical benefits of cannabis. If Sessions were to be approved, and he upheld his federal jurisdiction when it came to cannabis, there would be problems. States would be more apprehensive to allow for legal business, and supply would dwindle. Entire local economies could shut down if raids on cultivators began again.

Still, the majority of states allow for legal cannabis in some form, and the new administration knows how cumbersome a states’ rights battle would be with half of the nation. Combine that with overwhelming public support for medical cannabis, and over half of Americans now comfortable with responsible adult use laws, and you have a social juggernaut that would not go quietly.

But the social power of cannabis is now rivaled by the power of the industry, at least in economic terms. Recreational cannabis sales are sky high, and tax revenues have been exceeding expectations wherever sales are made legal. Additionally, the cannabis industry now employees hundreds of thousands, (if not millions) of people.

The reporting on cannabis employment is somewhat flawed due to the proliferation of the black market, but cannabis laws will inevitably change that. Licensed business paying taxes have employees who pay taxes, and the government loves nothing more than people paying them money.

It may all come crashing down if Sessions is eventually nominated. Democrats in Congress are certainly not making it easy, as Sessions’ hate toward cannabis is far outweighed by his many disparaging remarks of racism.  But even if Sessions becomes the Attorney General, there is so much going for cannabis right now, that you should feel confident in the integrity of your state’s cannabis laws.

For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.

Canadian Regulators Prepare to Legalize Cannabis for Adult Use

The Canadian Liberal Party, fronted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, swept into power last year on the promise of more sensible social laws that protect rather than antagonize. One of the key promises of that campaign was to shift the national approach to cannabis. While Canada has always been ahead of America on sensible drug policy, cannabis legalization would confirm Canada’s status as a bastion for responsible drug policies.

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In America, political promises are flimsy and evaporate at the first sign of friction. Trudeau’s party on the other hand has said from the beginning that the goal is to “legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.”

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A panel of regulators focusing on cannabis legalization recently submitted a report that calls for tighter controls on a regulated market in an effort to reduce illicit markets and the crime inherent with those operations. The nine member task force was composed by the Ministers of Justice, Public Safety, and Health earlier in June of 2016.

The report itself is incredibly detailed in the many possible ways to minimize the social harms of cannabis use while ensuring a regulated supply chain that enforces public safety and continued medical access.

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Among the recommendations presented by the panel were several components that have been present in all legalization attempts seen over the past five years:

  • Minimum age requirements to reduce youth exposure (18 currently recommended)
  • Specialty licensing for cannabis retailers with similar restrictions as alcohol and tobacco sellers
  • Marketing and advertising restrictions
  • Mandated product packaging that reflects risks and potency of the item
  • A safe supply chain with a “seed-to-sale” tracking program designed for traceability
  • Personal use cultivation opportunities (4 plants per household currently recommended)
  • Personal possession of cannabis in public (30 grams currently recommended)
  • Harsh penalties for the sale and distribution of unregulated cannabis
  • Taxation that promotes legal sales and funds education programs for youth and disaffected individuals
  • Workplace safety regulations and impaired driving provisions

Many of these recommendations are directly based on legalization attempts in the United States, most notably California which has similar population demographics and geographic dispersion constraints. Prime Minister Trudeau has accepted the report with open arms, and expects to introduce legislation in the first couple of months of 2017.

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As America enters an uncertain age with an unpredictable leader set to take the helm, Canada marks one of the focal points for cannabis legalization in North America.

For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.

Nevada Shuts Down Cannabis Database After Massive Data Exposure

Data security continues to be a major issue for the cannabis industry, after a medical cannabis database in Nevada accidentally exposed the personal information of thousands of cannabis business applicants. The breach was caused by a bug that did not properly secure the eight-page documents filed for nearly 12,000 individuals.

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Applicants were required to electronically submit their information, including full names, complete addresses and contact information, Social Security Numbers, citizenship status, race, gender, and a state-approved photo ID. That is more than enough information for an individual with malicious intent to cause some serious damage in the way of identify theft.

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As of December 29th, online access to the database portal was completely revoked, and the unprotected web address was eliminated. Nevada state law requires the government to notify all applicants of the leak in the coming days. Early in December, the portal had been shutdown temporarily when technical staff noticed an issue. Access was re-established a week later. The database of business applicants contains only a portion of the data hosted by Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Program, which gathers patient information as well.

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Data vulnerability has plagued many industries that inherently require the storage of sensitive information. The majority of US states have passed some sort of cannabis law, but so far no data security standards have been established. A number of consumer websites in the cannabis space have also come under fire for their lack of security after it was discovered that amateur computer programmers were able to access user information datasets.

Nevada has come a long way when it comes to cannabis laws.

Nevada has come a long way when it comes to cannabis laws.

Security researchers are confident that the data breach in Nevada  was a technological accident, although that does not lessen the impact of exposing the sheer volume of personal records. Nevada voters recently approved the adult use of cannabis, which will require the Medical Marijuana Program to create a new database for recreational cannabis business applicants.

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For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.

 

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