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Here we go:

Ohio legalized MED. Gov. John Kasich (R) is no friend of cannabis but circumstances forced his hand. Last year the state’s ill-conceived 2015 ballot measure to legalize MED and REC fell short. The new law was fast-tracked to beat out a 2016 MED ballot initiative that would have been more industry friendly.

The Buckeye State will not allow smoking the drug and is poised to become one of the largest MED markets in the country. See here and here for additional details.

Massachusetts’ expected 2016 REC initiative faces challenges in court.

The state has also  revoked the licenses of two doctors whose practices existed solely to issue MED recommendations. One of the doctors, the third most prolific MED doctor in the state, according to authorities, gave a recommendation in 2013 to a visibly pregnant woman with a history of substance abuse.

Last month in the state, a registered patient who prosecutors say was under the influence crashed into a cop car killing a state trooper, though it’s not clear who issued the drivers recommendation. The two doctors worked for organizations called CannaMed and Canna Care Docs, respectively, both multi-state organizations.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted to protect doctors who recommend MED in accordance with state law.

About 54 % of Americans support legalizing REC, a poll found. That number was 16 % in 1990. Actuality looks at how this seismic shift occurred.
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Lori Ajax (R), head of California’s new MED agency, said she anticipates its new regulations to take effect January 1, 2018. California’s state assembly passed a pot-tax bill. Oregon is scrambling to nail down rules for edibles and other manufactured products.

Hawaii’s MED law provides no legal path for licensees to acquire their initial seeds or plants. Alaska awarded its first business licenses. Commercialization faces some backlash in the state.

Michigan’s 2016 REC initiative isn’t dead yet. New rules could shutter 150 pot shops in Detroit, more than half the dispensaries in the city.

The federal government won’t allow it’s water to be used for pot growing. Washington state accidently released data from cannabusiness license applications.

Colorado dispensaries enjoyed their most successful month ever in April doing $117.4 million in weed sales. The figure topped their next most successful month, by about 17 %.

The Washington Post says Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “ may have made the best case for legal pot ever.” At a conference, Trudeau said, “Young people have easier access to cannabis now, in Canada, than they do in just about any other countries in the world…And whatever you might think or studies seen about cannabis being less harmful than alcohol or even cigarettes, the fact is it is bad for the developing brain and we need to make sure that it’s harder for underage Canadians to access marijuana. And that will happen under a controlled and regulated regime.

"The other piece of it is there are billions upon billions of dollars flowing into the pockets of organized crime, street gangs and gun-runners, because of the illicit marijuana trade, and if we can get that out of the criminal elements and into a more regulated fashion we will reduce the amount of criminal activity that’s profiting.”

The Washington Post, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, is reconsidering its marijuana testing policy, an editor tweeted.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal, acquired last year by casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has reversed its longtime pro-legalization stance. The editorial doesn’t acknowledge the about face. Nevada votes on REC in November.

Data firm BDS Analytics is rallying against a proposed Colorado ballot initiative that would limit the THC content of pot products to 16 percent.  According to the company, only 3 percent of flower on the state market falls beneath the threshold.

Cannabusiness attracted $215 million in venture capital in 2015, according to firm CB Insights, up from $9 million in 2013.

Smoking cannabis during pregnancy may increase the risks associated with tobacco use during pregnancy, according to a study. Researchers found that chronic cannabis use disrupts the brain’s “natural reward processes.

Legalization does not increase teen use, a study found.

A judge ruled that Arizona wrongly denied a hearing to activists who sought to add Parkinson’s disease as a qualifying condition for MED. Vermont added hospice care, glaucoma and chronic pain as qualifying conditions.

Ninety percent of Minnesota patients say MED works, but theythink it’s too expensive. Pediatric oncologists are generally open to MED use by pediatric cancer patients.

President Obama has commuted the sentences of 348 federal inmates, more than the last seven presidents combined. Half were incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses.

In an unconnected move, a Utah man serving a 55-year minimum sentence in federal prison for dealing pot was granted clemency. His supporters included staunch conservative Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) wants to increase penalties for drug trafficking, a measure focused on the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. Prince died of a Fentanyl overdose and the New York Times reports that it’s a cash cow for Mexican drug cartels. Most overdoses involve a mix of drugs, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, The Guardian reports.

Underground growers and drug dealers have been systematically shut out,” of the industry, the Guardian reports.

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz opposed Florida’s 2014 MED amendment which garnered 58 percent of the vote, two points shy of the needed 60 percent. This year, challenged from the left by Bernie Sanders-endorsed Tim Canova in a primary, she is reconsidering her position.

On drugs, Hillary Clinton is “ barely better than Trump,” The Influence says.

A lawsuit is challenging Illinois’s ban on political contributions political contributions from cannabusiness. The University of Missouri is under fire for censorship after refusing to allow NORML Mizzou t-shirts.

The “ objectives of drug control have not been reached, ” the Mexican human rights activist Lisa Sanchez told The Atlantic. “Not even close.” She makes a human rights case for legalization.

The Prague-based  International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute  aims to be an important research center.

France has the highest cannabis consumption in Europe. Israel delayed a vote on decriminalizing.

Rodrigo Duarte, president-elect of the Philippines said he supported private citizens who kill drug dealers.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek looks into the ongoing business opportunity/problem that there’s no easy way to determine if a driver is stoned. Forbes reports on the marketing companies trying to promote brands in a restrictive advertising climate.

Florida company Teewinot Life Sciences won the first patent for manufacturing cannabinoids using synthetic biology.

Due to unhappy neighbors, Denver could revoke a grow’s license for the first time.

An L.A. dispensary owner shot two suspected robbers, who entered the business wearing body armor and face masks, brandishing assault rifles.

According to Elle, female executives are more prevalent in cannabis than in any other industry. Meet Dr. Paola Pineda Villegas, “ Bogota’s top cannabis doc.

High Times asks are “ weed gummy bears worth fighting for?

It also interviews hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa. “I smoke pot all day,” he said. “I wake up and get high. But I’m more like an on-the-low stoner now. I like to get high and be high when I’m places, as opposed to just smoking everywhere like I used to. I prefer indicas—they help me out the most. Some people say they slow you down, but they pick me up.” (I only saw a few bonus questions online.)  

A U.K. cop faces disciplinary proceedings after going on patrol wearing an “I love weed” hat.

A West Hollywood restaurant serves CBD cocktails, MED card not required.

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Bye,

Alex 
@alexhalperin
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