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2019 Monterey County Crop Report lists leaf lettuce in top spot, cannabis in fifth

SALINAS – The 2019 Monterey County Crop Report released Tuesday shows the overall production value of the agriculture industry in the county was up 3.5% to $4.4 billion. Leaf lettuce is the top crop followed by strawberries, head lettuce, and broccoli rounding out the top four in the main report. The Crop Report also includes, for the first time, a supplemental Cannabis Production report that shows the overall production value of Cannabis at $449,688,000 in 2019, putting it fifth in line of top crops. “It’s a historic day,” said Aaron Johnson, of Monterey County National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Coastal Growers Association. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

Recreational marijuana laws may boost traffic deaths, studies say

Published: Jun 22, 2020, 11:45 am • Updated: Jun 22, 2020, 11:45 am By Associated Press By LINDSEY TANNER | The Associated Press Laws legalizing recreational marijuana may lead to more traffic deaths, two new studies suggest, although questions remain about how they might influence driving habits. Previous research has had mixed results and the new studies, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, can’t prove that the traffic death increases they found were caused by marijuana use. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

Colorado lawmakers let governor mass-pardon marijuana possession convictions

The governor would be able to mass-pardon marijuana convictions for possession of 2 ounces or less if he signs a bill that gives him that authority. It was the last amendment to the last bill considered Monday before Colorado’s General Assembly ended its work for the year. Lawmakers added the mass expungement option to House Bill 1424, which aims to open the marijuana industry to people of color and those who were previously convicted on drug charges that wouldn’t be crimes now. A spokesperson for Gov. Jared Polis didn’t directly answer whether he would sign it but sounded supportive Tuesday afternoon. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Denver’s marijuana businesses lack diversity in ownership and employment, city study finds

The majority of Denver’s cannabis-focused businesses are owned and staffed by white residents, leading to a lack of opportunities for people of color to get involved in the industry, according to a city study released Monday. According to Denver’s Cannabis Business and Employment Opportunity Study, 74.6% of owners of licensed cannabis businesses within city and county limits are white, as are 68% of employees. Hispanic, Latino and Spanish residents account for 12.7% of cannabis business owners and 12.1% of industry employees, while black and African American residents make up 5.6% of ownership and 5.9% of industry employees, the study found. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Buzz kill: Massachusetts’ pot shops reopen, but some fear another shutdown

Published: May 28, 2020, 11:43 am • Updated: May 28, 2020, 11:44 am By Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Marijuana shops in many states have enjoyed brisk business during the coronavirus pandemic. In New England? Not so much. Recreational shops reopened this week in Massachusetts with strict regulations after being ordered shut down the past two months. Now, some worry that state officials could simply shutter them again if there’s a resurgence of the virus in Massachusetts, the only state that has deemed the shops “nonessential” during the pandemic. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Milpitas council kills cannabis sales tax measure proposal

MILPITAS — After briefly reviving the idea of potentially placing a cannabis business sales tax measure on the November ballot, the Milpitas City Council has killed the proposal. The council on Tuesday night was scheduled to consider both a cannabis business sales tax measure, as well as a general sales tax measure, but ultimately decided to put the general sales tax discussion off to a later meeting, and to ditch the cannabis sales tax idea altogether. Though the council had previously banned all cannabis businesses from operating in the city, Mayor Rich Tran late last month said he wanted to let voters decide on the sales tax issue as a way to gauge community support for cannabis. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

How Denver businesses plan to deal with face mask enforcement

Published: May 6, 2020, 6:02 am • Updated: May 6, 2020, 6:05 am By Sam Tabachnik Beginning Wednesday, any customer entering a Denver business will be required to put on a mask. That part is straightforward. But what happens when people refuse to do so? It’s a question that cities and states around the country are grappling with as mandatory mask orders become more common to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. While compliance only takes a cloth mask, the mandate has generated strong backlash in parts of the country, with deadly consequences in at least one instance. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Milpitas City Council to again weigh cannabis sales tax ballot measure

Published: May 4, 2020, 4:35 pm • Updated: May 4, 2020, 4:37 pm By Joseph Geha MILPITAS — Despite voting in late 2018 to ban marijuana businesses in the city, the Milpitas City Council will discuss Tuesday whether it should put a marijuana business sales tax measure on the November election ballot. The issue of whether to sanction marijuana business in the city has been contentious. Mayor Rich Tran, who supported the previous ban, suggested at an April 21 meeting that the council take up the conversation on the cannabis sales tax measure, saying he wants local voters to make the choice. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

Second Colorado dispensary will soon begin offering marijuana delivery

Boulder will soon be home to two dispensaries legally delivering medical marijuana. Helping Hands Cannabis on Pearl Street recently procured its license for delivery and expects to begin service to medical patients in mid-May, according to co-owner Johnny Kurish. Kurish decided to offer delivery as a way to safely reach patients during the pandemic. Helping Hands closed voluntarily before Gov. Jared Polis issued a statewide stay-at-home order in March “because we couldn’t see a responsible way to conduct business inside of our premises and still be cognizant of public health and our staff’s health,” Kurish said. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Owner of High Times magazine scores 13 California marijuana dispensaries

Published: Apr 28, 2020, 9:45 am • Updated: Apr 28, 2020, 9:47 am By Associated Press By ALEX VEIGA | The Associated Press LOS ANGELES  — The owner of High Times is going to start selling marijuana after championing its use in the pages of its magazine for nearly half a century. Hightimes Holding Corp. said Tuesday is acquiring 13 dispensaries from Harvest Health and Recreation, one of the largest multi-state producers and sellers of cannabis in the U.S. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

Chronic in the time of COVID-19: 4/20 goes digital

Published: Apr 20, 2020, 3:22 pm • Updated: Apr 20, 2020, 3:23 pm By Cnn.com Wire Service By Alice Wallace | CNN This year’s 4/20 was shaping up to be big. The high holiday honoring the cannabis plant was projected to draw record public celebrations and retail sales — a reflection of the grassroots movement evolution into a burgeoning US industry. Plus, at 4:20 pm on April 20, 2020, it is the year of “four 20s.” Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

This 4/20, munchie food deals replace the canceled cannabis celebrations

Perhaps you’ll be celebrating the 4/20 “holiday” in traditional fashion. You’re on your own finding deals for that. But if you end up with the munchies, a few restaurant chains are happy to help with deals. Naturally, non-tokers may take advantage of these discounts too. Del Taco is offering 10 of its Value Tacos for $4.20. Download the Del Taco app to order for drive-thru, takeout or delivery. Valid all day at participating locations. Blaze Pizza will upgrade customers to its thicker “High-Rise” dough for free. The offer, available only through the Blaze app, is redeemable from today through Sunday, April 26. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.