U.S. Cannabis Brief
Cannabis legalization is a hot topic in states across the United States and as of late there have been numerous news stories coming out of a multitude of states. Let’s take a few to journey together and review some of the recent US cannabis news stories everyone should be aware of!
New Hampshire Decriminalization
While every other New England state has taken steps to legalize medical cannabis, retail cannabis, or both New Hampshire had not addressed their draconian cannabis laws until this year. On Tuesday, July 18th the governor of New Hampshire signed a bill decriminalizing cannabis possession by adults. Under the new law, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis or 5 grams of hash is now a civil violation with a fine rather than a misdemeanor which has terrible consequences.
The law goes into effect 60 days from the date the governor signed said bill. For individuals who are caught with legal amounts of cannabis but are under age could face a delinquency petition. Funds collected for cannabis violations will be distributed into a fund that will address alcohol and drug abuse treatment as well as prevention.
Nevada State of Emergency
Last November citizens in the state of Nevada said yes to legalizing cannabis for adult retail consumption and on July 1st those sales began at dispensaries. Shortly thereafter though they became scarce as dispensaries started to run out of product. Within just two weeks of legal retail sales for cannabis starting in the state of Nevada supplies started to run out and led to the Nevada Tax Commission passing new regulations via a unanimous vote to address the shortage. Based on how quickly licensed distributors ran out of product, it became evident that the number of stores and product allowed was not sufficient for the demand in the state.
This unanimous vote on a new regulation allows the application process to be reopened for existing medical marijuana dispensaries to apply for a spot within the retail market. According to statistics, the first four days of legal retail cannabis sales brought about 40,000 retail transactions which resulted in over three million dollars in sales. At this rate, Nevada could stand to drastically exceed what other states have accomplished thus far.
Michigan Adult Use
Michigan legalized medical cannabis and has implemented a strong infrastructure surrounding the medical program in the state. Now activists are looking to legalize adult retail consumption and they are gaining significant ground. According to a report by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the current recreational cannabis petition drive in the state has received more than 100,000 signatures in less than two months’ time. The ballot proposal which was approved back in May allowed the group to begin collecting signatures and they are already almost halfway through collecting the total number of valid signatures that they will need to place the measure on a 2018 ballot. The group has 180 days from May 26th to collect 252,523 signatures.