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California agency recommends major overhaul to state’s cannabis taxes

California’s struggling cannabis industry didn’t get the recommendation many hoped for — a call to sharply lower the industry’s tax rate — but a long-awaited state report did suggest a marijuana tax overhaul. The report from California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Office, released Tuesday, Dec. 17, says lawmakers should ditch the way the state currently taxes marijuana and, instead, tax cannabis at different rates based on its potency. Such a tax structure, the report said, would result in stable revenue and discourage cannabis abuse. The report — the first of its kind since voters legalized cannabis three years earlier — also recommends California quit making licensed cultivators pay a tax based on the weight of marijuana they grow. Read the rest of this story on Times-Standard.com.

Royal Resin recalling marijuana sold in Denver area because of elevated yeast and mold counts

A Denver marijuana business, Royal Resin, is voluntarily recalling retail marijuana, including pre-rolled joints and blunts because of potentially unsafe elevated yeast and mold counts. The problem was found during a Denver Department of Public Health & Environment investigation, according to a news release. Samples of dried marijuana, including flower, shake and trim were also found with elevated and potentially unsafe levels of yeast and mold. The marijuana was sold before Monday at several metro area stores including: Diego Pellicer, Starbuds, Treatments Unlimited, Mile High, Green Fields and the Herbal Center. Strains and products include: Tropical Zkittles, Lemon Cookies, Lemon Granada, NYCD, GG#4, Hulk Pops, Dr. Strange, Alaskan Ice, Witches Weed, Purple Pipeline, Tangerine Powe...

Eureka, Arcata cannabis dispensaries reflect on ‘up-and-down’ year

Humboldt County’s cannabis industry has made it through another year of legality, a feat for a marketplace swarmed by regulatory costs and state bureaucracy since its inception. For a handful of pot dispensaries in Eureka and Arcata, the trek has been worth it. Several of the city’s marijuana shops said the past year has brought good returns. They cited strong relations with local growers and said most businesses are on good terms. The dispensaries did echo concerns with the state’s fledgling track-and-trace program, which became fully implemented this past summer. The stores also said the ever-increasing supply of dispensaries has been a problem. Read the rest of this story on Times-Standard.com.

Netherlands to Give Full Marijuana Legalization a Trial Run

The Netherlands is preparing to introduce a “weed test” in cities other than Amsterdam. The test would allow smaller-sized municipalities to have marijuana sales in coffeeshops (aka cannabis cafes). All products offered to coffeeshop patrons would be tested and display the THC percentages, City Lab reported. Locals may not see the coffeeshops offering marijuana for another year and a half, but officials are hoping it will be sooner than that. Officials must identify and approve growers first. Consumption of marijuana is currently legal in the Netherlands but growing it for commercial purposes is not. Breda Mayor Paul Depla said, “It’s almost the same as being allowed to buy beer in a cafe, but not being allowed to brew one. In that situation an illegal brewery would be setup tomorrow.” Off...

Cannabis Industry Job Postings Increases 1,242% in This Western State

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Maine to Begin Recreational Marijuana Sales by March 2020

  By Patrick Whittle, Associated Press (AP) — Maine marijuana enthusiasts will probably be able to purchase their preferred products in retail stores by March 2020 after years of waiting. Voters approved legal adult-use marijuana at the polls in November 2016, and the road to legal sales has been long and bumpy. But a key act passed by the Legislature is now in effect, and that means the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy is in a position to complete final adoption of marijuana rules, said David Heidrich, an office spokesman. The act made tweaks to Maine’s Marijuana Legalization Act that were necessary for the marijuana office to adopt the rules, which it is expected to do within two months. That means it will likely be able to accept applications for retail marijuana sales by the end o...

Mexico to Vote On Marijuana Legalization by End of October

Mexico’s lawmakers are expected to vote this week on a bill to legalize marijuana. In 2018, the Mexico Supreme Court told lawmakers they had until Oct. 24 to legalize marijuana, VOANews reported. The Supreme Court ruled in multiple cases that the country’s prohibition of the recreational use of marijuana violated the constitution. Mexican law says that if the Supreme Court issues the same ruling five times, those rulings set a precedent that allow the court to order the creation of a new regulatory framework. Some lawmakers have proposed that the Mexican government tightly regulate the future marijuana market, while others propose a more open, free market. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has shown signs of support for decriminalizing marijuana.  

Cannabis in America: $128.8 Billion in Taxes and 1.6 Million Jobs

New Frontier Data, a leader in analytics and business intelligence for the global cannabis industry, released its new study, Cannabis In the U.S. Economy: Jobs, Growth and Tax Revenue, 2019 Edition. The report looks at the current state of legal cannabis jobs and tax revenues and projects the impact that full federal legalization would have on the U.S. economy, especially tax revenue generation and job creation. New Frontier Data new report forecasts that under full federal legalization the cannabis industry could produce nearly $130 billion in additional tax revenues and over 1 million jobs nationwide. “With so much speculation about economic slowdown, the potential for federally legal cannabis to create up to a million new jobs and close to $130 billion in tax revenue is likely going to ...

Legalizing Marijuana Has “Minimal to No Effect” on Crime Ratet

According to new data from the journal Justice Quarterly, the legalization of adult-use marijuana possession and sales is not linked with any significant or long-term increase in criminal activity. Researchers affiliated with Washington State University assessed monthly average crime rates in Colorado and Washington in the wake of cannabis legalization compared to other states, NORML noted. In particular, they examined data for violent crimes, property crimes, auto thefts, and robberies. “[M]arijuana legalization and sales have had minimal to no effect on major crimes in Colorado or Washington,” the study noted. “We observed no statistically significant long-term effects of recreational cannabis laws or the initiation of retail sales on violent or property crime rates in these states. … Th...

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