Politics 

The latest in cannabis legalization including laws and policies, legislators’ views, election coverage, and more.

The Shake: Bernie, CannaCups, and D.C.’s Homegrow Boom

Cannabis finally a hot issue in New Hampshire. On the day of the primary, the Chicago Sun-Times wonders if Bernie Sanders’s pro-legalization stand will win him voters. “Marijuana is ripe for reform in New Hampshire, and pro-reform candidates might see that pay off with primary voters,” says the paper. Meanwhile, Chris Christie doubles down on the crazy, telling a questioner at a Manchester, N.H., town hall: “Get high now, because when I’m president, it’s over, buddy.” We think something else may be over after tonight, Gov, and it ain’t legal consumption. 

Suddenly everyone’s a farmer in Washington, D.C. Reuters describes what happens when you allow people to use cannabis but not sell it. “Sales of pot-growing equipment have boomed,” writes Ian Simpson. Capital City Hydroponics reports that it “now sells as many starter kits in a day as it did in a typical week before legalization.” Washington, D.C. famously legalized cannabis in 2014, but Congress has blocked the city from enacting rules regulating cultivation and sales. Advocates estimate that 500 to 1,000 people are now growing in the District. “All walks of life come in here, young to old, all classes, all creeds and colors,” said Capital City clerk John Diango said. Despite that fact, Reuters chose to illustrate the piece with a photo of a sketchy-looking white dude sucking a joint in Canada in 2014. Go figure. 

Minnesota’s MMJ program brings “wonders, worries.” The Minneapolis StarTribune takes stock of the state’s medical cannabis program six months on and finds successes and problems. The problems aren’t the usual reefer madness fears, though. The main problem seems to be the state’s ban on smokeable leaf, which has left patients with only higher-cost oil, pill, or liquid options. “Of the people I’ve certified, somewhere between 20 to 30 percent have not obtained medical marijuana because of the cost,” one doctor says. 

Shinnecock Nation to develop medical cannabis program. Newsday reports that the Shinnecock tribe in New York intends to contract with an outside developer to cultivate and sell medical marijuana on the tribe’s reservation near Southampton, on Long Island. Tribal Trustee Chairman Bryan Polite told the Southampton Press that the tribe’s project will be “coextensive” with the New York State Compassionate Care Act which, like Minnesota, does not permit smokeable leaf. 

Report from the Front: The Trouble with Cannabis in Indian Country

Will we ever see CannaCups? Beantown business tech site BostInno tracks the progress of Massachusetts-based CannaKorp, which has raised $375,000 to bring a Keurig K-Cup–like cannabis vaporizing system to market. CannaKorp got a flurry of press last fall with the release of a cool, animated “single-use, pod-based cannabis vaporizer system.” We’d call this a pipe dream except for the fact that CannaKorp CEO Dave Manly was formerly a senior VP at Keurig Green Mountain. It’s an exciting idea. Can we have a demonstration, Dave? 

QUICK HITS:

  • Facebook restored the pages of two New Jersey medical cannabis dispensaries after the operators deleted price lists and photos of the plant.
  • Rhode Island considers adding PTSD to its list of qualifying MMJ conditions.
  • London’s Evening Standard reports that “an elderly hippy” will run for mayor of London on a legalization platform. Lee Harris, a 79 year-old grandfather and onetime friend of Allen Ginsberg and Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones, owns a head shop on Portobello Road and is backed by philanthropist and drug reformer Paul Birch. Not that anybody asked, but here’s our vote: We be for Lee. 

The Shake: Cool Companies, Woody Wants In

Image Source (curves, graphic overlay): Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons