Politics 

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

The Shake: Minnesotans Seeing MMJ’s Benefits, and Michigan Falls Short on Signatures

The majority of Minnesota MMJ patients are reporting benefits. Around 90 percent of medical cannabis patients in Minnesota reported “mild to significant” benefits experienced during the first three months of the state’s medical marijuana program. The numbers come from a Minnesota Department of Health survey of enrolled patients. Only about 20 percent of the patients reported side effects, which were generally minor and included feeling lightheaded, paranoid, or sleepy. The biggest concern for patients in Minnesota, though? Cost. About 73 percent of patients reported that cannabis prices in the state are too high. 

Michigan: Marijuana legalization group short 106,000 signatures. According to the Michigan elections bureau, the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee is nearly 106,000 signatures short of qualifying its legalization measure for the statewide ballot in November. The legalization group says 137,000 of its signatures are still valid despite being older than 180 days. The whole thing’s a bit of a mess, and it looks like it may ultimately be decided in court. 

Why are Ausssies backpedaling on medical marijuana? Fiona Patten, leader of the Australian Sex Party (yes, really) and a member of the Victorian upper house of Parliament, recently wrote to a Melbourne newspaper to say that it’s “painfully clear now that none of the major parties want to see recreational cannabis legal in Australia.” According to Patten, all the legislative promises are “a smokescreen to hide the fact they are basically old style Scotch and Coke drinkers and they don’t believe in hippy medicine … unless they think they can win votes with it.” Zing. 

It’s Time to Treat Medical Cannabis Like Medicine

Shumlin signs bill expanding Vermont medical marijuana law. Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed into law a bill to expand qualifying conditions for the state’s medical cannabis program. Cannabis had already been allowed for severe pain, but not for pain that was less severe but still chronic. Added to the list were also glaucoma and patients in hospice care. Shumlin expressed hope cannabis could be used by some patients to replace opioids, which critics had complained were easier to access than medical marijuana. 

Florida to hold first cannabis investment conference on Wednesday. Folks in the Sunshine State can attend an investment conference tomorrow in Fort Lauderdale. The event is hosted by a New York City financial and strategic advisory firm specializing in the cannabis industry. Among the topics to be discussed: real estate, security, biotechnology, cultivation, and retail. 

 Medical Cannabis Can Pass in Florida. Here’s How.

New rules? No problem for this Colorado MMJ company. One Colorado edible business is ahead of the curve when it comes to new, statewide product labeling requirements. Americanna spent $100,000 and more than seven months to create its cannabis-infused gummies in compliance with new rules effective Oct. 1. “We are ahead of the curve,” said owner Dan Anglin. ”We did this last year and began searching to make the new molds soon as we knew what was needed.”

Is Guam next in line for cannabis decriminalization? A fourth and final public hearing for the revised medical marijuana rules and regulations is set for June 7 at the Santa Rita Senior Center. The prospective bill would decriminalize the non-medical use of marijuana, along with distribution, cultivation, and other forms of possession and use. 

 Crash and Burn in Burlington: How Legalization Failed in Vermont

Hungry? Edible sampling begins in Oregon. Edibles, topicals, and extracts became legal last week in Oregon for adults 21 and older. A variety of new cannabis-infused products are now on the shelves with cannabis consumers trying to decide which to try first. Dispensary owners and state health officials are urging consumers to start off slow in their consumption in order to understand the effects marijuana has on them. (Choose carefully: You can only buy one 15-mg THC edible per day.) 

 Colorado Lawmakers Target Infused Edibles in Fruit, Animal Shapes