Saturday, January 29Urban Hippie

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Former Adult Pastor Launches ‘Christian Cannabis’

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Craig Gross, an entrepreneur, adult pastor and founder of XXXChurch.com, recently announced that his brand, Christian Cannabis, launched a line of CBD-rich cannabis products on January 27. The brand will offer high CBD, low THC strains developed for Christian cannabis consumers while educating them about the plant and its medicinal benefits, as well as sharing how they can use it spiritually, too. “Christian Cannabis wants to shine a light on a topic Christians are avoiding—their cannabis use—and invite them to explore it without fear, shame, or judgment,” the press announcement states. Craig (not to be confused with Craig X, a separate cannabis-friendly pastor) believes that aside from the emotional and physical effects, there is potential to tap into a spiritual connection with can

Tennessee Lawmakers want Statewide Marijuana Legalization Vote

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Two Tennessee state lawmakers this week proposed legislation that would put ballot questions regarding the legalization of marijuana before voters in this year’s general election. The legislation was introduced by a bipartisan duo of state legislators, Democratic Senator Sara Kyle and Representative Bruce Griffey, a conservative Republican. Attempts to legalize medical cannabis in Tennessee have seen some success in legislative committees only for proposed legislation fail to come to a vote by the full House of Representatives. But some prosecutors have adopted a more lenient stance to cannabis, including Davidson County District Attorney General Glenn Funk, who has instituted a policy to decline to file charges in possession cases involving a half-ounce of cannabis or less. Griffey bel

Weed Sales Outpace Alcohol for First Time in Massachusetts

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Cannabis tax revenue in Massachusetts is performing better than projected, over four years into the state’s adult-use market. According to the most recently available data, Massachusetts reported collecting $74.2 million in marijuana excise taxes—much more than the $51.3 million in alcohol excise taxes that were collected.  Alcohol sales continue the downward trend that began two decades ago, according to data collected by Gallup polling, despite a temporary sharp uptick in alcohol sales amid COVID. Analysts have wondered if there is a correlation between cannabis reform and alcohol sales. The trends seen in Massachusetts are no different. Fortune reports that alcohol excise taxes imposed on each gallon of alcohol produced also remained flat over the last five years, at $0.55 per gal

Just Announced – High Times Cannabis Cup SoCal: People’s Choice 2022

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The High Times Cannabis Cup SoCal: People’s Choice 2022 will be the largest competition held in SoCal in history, with more than 2,200 judge kits and 12 categories.  High Times Cannabis Cups have a long legacy of success in the state of California, and this upcoming People’s Choice event is no exception. “High Times has hosted the coveted Cannabis Cups in California for many, many years, bringing together cannabis enthusiasts from all over the country and awarding the best products in The Golden State,” said Mark Kazinec, High Times Director, Competitions & Events. “For People’s Choice Cups, this marks only the second-ever Cup where judging is open to everyone in the Southern California region, bringing in a wider and more diverse pool of judges to crown the best of Californi

Most Affected: Former State Employee Diana Marquez

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In 1978, 18-year-old Diana Marquez and her family moved from Mexico to the U.S., settling in Nebraska. She could barely speak English, using films and TV shows to help teach her. Two years later, she met her eventual husband, Mario, before moving to El Paso, Texas in 1987. She had hoped to use the degree she earned while living in Mexico. However, forced to make ends meet, the duo took whatever jobs they could find, working as meat cutters at a processing plant. “Not many people last long,” she said of the job, “But we had a necessity.”  According to the Feds, Mario also turned to cannabis distribution, netting him a 13-year sentence on cannabis conspiracy charge in 1991. With three children, including an eight-month-old, at the time of the arrest, Marquez turned to the U.S. governme

California Bill Filed To Accelerate Cannabis Conviction Expungements

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California courts would face a deadline to implement expungements for past cannabis-related convictions under a bill introduced in the State Assembly on Wednesday.  The legislation sponsored by State Assemblymember Mia Bonta would require courts to update case files for marijuana-related convictions and transmit them to the California Department of Justice by January 1, 2023, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The state justice department would then be required to use the information from the courts to update its records by July 1, 2023. “California made a promise. I’m focused on making sure that California keeps its promises,” said Bonta. “This bill would allow us to automatically seal qualifying cannabis criminal records.” Proposition 64, the landmark 2016 voter ini

Decriminalize Nature and Students For Sensible Drug Policy Create a Community Healing Alliance

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Two advocacy organizations are coming together to decriminalize entheogens and continue fighting against the War on Drugs. Decriminalize Nature (DN) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) announced in a press release on January 27 that they are partnering up to target entheogen decriminalization and put an end to the War on Drugs by creating a Community Healing Alliance. Both of these organizations have a longstanding history with drug advocacy, and this collaboration will no doubt strengthen the cause. As SSDP Board Member and also co-director of DN Michigan, Myc Williams believes that this partnership is essential to push progress forward. “A national alliance of these two organizations is a unique opportunity to tackle the harms of the drug war from all sides,” Williams said. “

New York Expands Medical Marijuana Eligibility

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This week, New York expanded eligibility for the state’s medical cannabis program to include more patients, according to an announcement from state regulators. New York’s Office of Cannabis Management said on Monday that the state had launched a new medical marijuana certification and registration system that is “easier to use and expands the eligibility criteria for patients who can benefit from medical cannabis.” Under the new eligibility criteria, practitioners will be allowed to issue medical marijuana certifications to any patient they believe may benefit from the medicinal use of cannabis. Previously, the use of medical cannabis was restricted to patients with one or more qualifying medical conditions. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) noted that the change is consistent wit

Mississippi Lawmakers Finally Agree on Medical Cannabis Bill

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After more than a year of disagreement, back-and-forth and false dawns, Mississippi lawmakers may have finally produced a medical cannabis bill that will become law. The Clarion Ledger reported that “members of the Mississippi House and Senate on Tuesday announced a final agreement on a bill to create a medical marijuana program in the state.” Crucially, versions of the bill that passed out of both chambers did so with veto-proof majorities.  As expected, the central area of compromise centered “around how often and how much cannabis a medical marijuana patient can purchase,” according to the Clarion Ledger. Under the bill that passed Tuesday, patients would be allowed “to purchase 3.5 grams of cannabis up to six times a week, or about 3 ounces a month,” the Clarion Ledger repo

Colorado Springs Group Launches Bid to Legalize Recreational Pot Sales

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A group of business and community leaders in Colorado Springs, Colorado has launched a bid to legalize sales of recreational cannabis in the city, arguing that tax revenue generated by purchases of legal cannabis by local residents should stay in the community. Colorado voters legalized sales of recreational cannabis with the passage of Amendment 64 in 2012, and regulated sales began in the state two years later. But Colorado Springs banned recreational cannabis sales in 2013, although the city is home to more than 100 medical cannabis dispensaries.  Colorado Springs Ballot Measure Filed On Monday, the group Your Choice Colorado Springs filed ballot language for a proposed voter initiative that would allow the city’s existing medical marijuana dispensaries to apply for licenses to