Original Post: Cannabis Now: Restaurants & Bars Shutdown Amid Coronavirus, But Marijuana Dispensaries Remain Open
[Canniseur: Love what Mike Adams is writing here. We’re all living in a state of anxiety and Mike is getting it out there. Keep Calm. Carry on. This would seem to be the watchword of the day, but it’s not an easy thing to do. Mr. Adams lays it out in a great way, even if some of this is painful to read.]
The world is on the verge of complete and total bedlam. This godforsaken coronavirus is spreading with such intensity right now that the American public, well, it just doesn’t know what else to do but launch into full-blown panic mode. All one has to do is step inside a grocery store to see that the proverbial cheese of this so-called civilization of ours has slid right off the cracker. The fear of the unknown has the average citizen stockpiling everything from hand sanitizer to chicken wings. Even toilet paper has become a hot commodity inside the clutches of impending doom. I mean, did you ever think our advanced technological order would see a day when it was virtually impossible to get our hands on basic toiletries? Even Amazon is plumb out!
This widespread shortage of rolled wiping products seems to have sparked an abandonment of hope. Because in this ultra-bizarre rhyme of the great American hoarder, we are now witnessing an anxious nation that has also decided to amass a hefty surplus of hard liquor and marijuana. These folks are presumably of the opinion that if we are, in fact, grinding the very edge of the end of the world, or at the very least going to be forced to stay indoors for a month or more, then we better have plenty of weed to see us through the madness.
Legal marijuana is reportedly flying off the shelves from California to Massachusetts, just in case the federal government imposes mandatory confinement policies like they’ve done in Italy and now France. And while some states are okay with all of this reefer raiding, others, like Illinois, are worried rabid pot-procurers could hurt medical marijuana patients. The state issued a statement last week urging dispensaries to make sure to keep plenty of weed on hand for participants of the state’s medicinal cannabis program. Those people who need weed to combat various health conditions are to get first priority in the Land of Lincoln, the state reiterated.
Read the rest of the story:
Restaurants & Bars Shutdown Amid Coronavirus, But Marijuana Dispensaries Remain Open was posted on Cannabis Now.
Original Post: Cannabis Now: These Are the States With the Most Cannabis Dispensaries
[Canniseur: Fascinating story, but there’s one glaring error (to me anyway) of omission. Trinidad, CO has 26 active pot shops and a population of 8,072. That is a per capita ratio of about 310 people per shop or over 300 dispensaries per 100,000 people. I’d say that puts Trinidad right up there. While it is the closest city to the southern Colorado border, Trinidad has embraced cannabis like no other city I know of. They’re also making lots of revenue and creating jobs and wealth from a city that’s been beaten down for over a century.]
Now that marijuana legalization is taking hold across the country, the cannabis industry is really starting to bud. Ahh, get it? At any rate, in the 40 odd states that have legalized the leaf for medicinal and recreational use — see, there are so many legal jurisdictions that we’ve actually lost count — we are starting to witness an uprising in cannabis dispensaries, all of them dedicated to servicing the legions of cannabis customers out there champing at the bit to buy legal weed. Indeed, droves of people are standing in lines at these retail shops ready to get their hands on pot. It’s a wild scene unmatched by anything with maybe the exception of the lines to get in to see Mr. Bungle during their recent Raging Wrath shows. But other than that, we’re talking stoner fandom here, folks. Like, it’s readily apparent that America reaaally wants to be high.
Well, as with anything in this world, there’s always a group of scientific minds ready to roll up their sleeves to dissect what’s really going on out there. Marijuana is no exception. So, the folks at Verilife, which operates dispensaries in several states, recently buckled down to determine just how many marijuana dispensaries are in the United States. But they weren’t going to stop there, no siree. They also wanted to find out which states and cities had the most dispensaries and which ones were contributing the most tax revenue to their respective pot. Hello? Is this thing on?
While states like California, Washington and Colorado obviously led the pack in terms of collecting tax revenue from the sale of legal weed, some of the results of this exploration into dispensaries might surprise you. So, without further a due, here are the 10 states with the most dispensaries per capita.
Man, no wonder the Golden State is having such a hard time taking its cannabis trade into the realm of the legit. The study finds it only has 1.6 marijuana dispensaries per 100,000, which hardly seems enough to service all of those in need. Nevertheless, the state still threw down $354 million in tax revenue in 2018. Sure, that’s a bit lower than the initial projections, but it’s still more than any other legal state. Two of its cities have more dispensaries than anywhere else. It looks like the best place to find weed is in Cathedral City (12th in the nation) and Santa Cruz (25th). They have 11.8 and 6.2 marijuana dispensaries per 50,000, respectively, the study finds.
The state recently launched its recreational sector after running a medical marijuana program for several years. It has 1.7 dispensaries per 100,000, according to the study, contributing in the neighborhood of $2.4 million in pot taxes. Incidentally, however, none of its cities made the list of most dispensaries.
It only stands to reason that a state that is home to jurisdictions where gambling and prostitution are legal should be on the list of most marijuana dispensaries, as well. The study shows that the Silver State has 2.4 dispensaries per 100,000. These operations are contributing $69.8 million a year in tax revenue. Still, none of its cities ranks among those with the most dispensaries.
7. New Mexico
The state has been pushing recently for recreational marijuana, but it’s probably going to have to settle for its medicinal sector for a while longer. Still, it’s not too shabby based on the number of available dispensaries. The state has 5.2 dispensaries per 100,000, and it is collecting $9 million in annual tax revenue. It has only one city on the list of most dispensaries. Santa Fe came in at 28th with 5.9 per 50,000.
One of the first states in America to legalize for recreational use, Washington has 6.2 cannabis dispensaries per 100,000. It also came in second nationwide in terms of producing money, the study finds, generating $319 million in tax revenue per year. It is also where you can find a handful of cities that topped the most dispensaries list. Bellingham (8.8 dispensaries) and Olympia (8.6) came in at 20 and 21, respectively. Spokane (5.9) made the cut at 27th, while Everett (5.8) sits at 28th.
While it might not sound like there would be too many places to buy weed in the Last Frontier, it’s slinging more green than one might think. The state has 12.7 marijuana dispensaries per 100,000, giving way to $10.8 million in annual tax revenue. Unfortunately, though, none of its cities had enough dispensaries per capita to make the list.
Another one of the first states in the nation to make legal marijuana a reality for adults 21 and older sits high on the list. The study finds that Colorado has 14.1 cannabis dispensaries per 100,000. It also ranks in at third on the list for most tax revenue collected, pulling down $266 million per year. And there is a slew of cities where it might seem a dispensary is on every corner. Pueblo (16.6 dispensaries) ranks third in the nation, followed by Denver (14.9) in fifth place. On down the list is Boulder (12.1) at 11th and Colorado Springs (11.7) at 13th.
While we don’t hear too much about the cannabis trade in Montana, it is one of the leading states in the nation for most dispensaries per capita. The study shows it has 15.1 dispensaries per 100,000. But it only pulls in roughly around $1.8 million per year in tax revenue. Even still, a number of its cities have the most pot shops in the nation. Missoula (18.1 dispensaries) ranks in at numeral uno in the country. The next is further down the line. Billings, which sits at 22nd on the list, has 7.3 dispensaries per 50,000.
The state’s medical marijuana sector is set up for big things, the study finds. It is home to 15.6 cannabis dispensaries per 100,000, but most of these establishments are apparently starving to death. These operations are only producing around $70,000 in annual tax revenue. But its cities are set up to sell more weed than any other spot in the nation. Moore (13.1 dispensaries) comes in at 7th on the list, followed by Edmond (12.5) at 9th. But it doesn’t stop there. Oklahoma City (10.6) and Norman (10.5) fall in at 14th and 15th, respectively. Tulsa (10.1) and Lawton (9.6) make a showing at 17th and 18th, and so does Enid (7.0), Broken Arrow (6.5) and Midwest City.
Oregon should be nicknamed the Dispensary State. The study finds it has 16.5 dispensaries per 100,000, coming in at 4th ($94.4 million) in the nation for collecting tax revenue. Medford (17.1) is the second leading city in the country for the most dispensaries. Eugene (16.1) comes in at 4th, Portland at 6th, Salem 8th, and Bend at the 10th spot. Three more Oregon cities (Corvallis, Springfield, and Beaverton) also made the cut, the study shows.
TELL US, how many cannabis dispensaries or shops are near where you live?
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Original Post: Cannabis Now: Forget The Layoffs: Cannabis Industry Still Huge Job Creator
[Canniseur: I don’t know if “countless” reports have written about the cannabis industry and how it’s going down. This is media. With new states coming on-line with medical cannabis and some new states opening up for adult-use cannabis sales, jobs have to keep going up. And they are. Cannabis Now got this right. The cannabis job market is booming.]
Countless reports have suggested that the cannabis industry has bitten off more than it can chew and is now face down in a puddle of hard times. There is, most notably, the tanking of pot-related stocks. More concerning, however, are stories indicating that a slew of layoffs is underway in the business of growing and selling weed, which, at one time, was touted as economic salvation for the American working class. But is the situation really as dire as the Internet tells us? Are their cultivation wizards, budtenders and others that once collected a paycheck from pot resting in a pit of despair? Well, probably not as much as you might imagine. It turns out that the cannabis sector is still one of the fastest-growing job markets in the United States, and it is achieving this without so much as a smidgen of support from the federal government.
The cannabis industry presently employs 243,700 “full-time equivalent” workers nationwide, which is up 15% from where it was last year. This means that more than 33,000 people are now getting that weed money than there were in 2019. That’s not too shabby for a business sect that is still technically trying to keep Uncle Sam from swooping in with all guns blazing and dragging them to jail.
Although the cannabis trade has made significant strides in recent years — now legal in more than 30 states for medicinal use, with 11 states going fully legal for adults 21 and older — the federal government still maintains that these folks are selling a Schedule I dangerous drug. But while government operatives like former Attorney General Jeff Sessions have, in the past, threatened to stop the weed trade dead in its tracks, there hasn’t been much in the way of hammer fisted resistance as of late. Even though President Donald Trump recently upset the industry by proposing a lift to medical marijuana protections, that’s just some nonsense that has been going on since the Obama era. In other words, the cannabis industry is now operating at an unstoppable click, providing the equivalent of a small city with the means to pay bills and raise families.
Still, it might surprise you to learn that the U.S. Bureau of Labor doesn’t count this job growth in its monthly report. So, when you hear that the national economy added 225,000 jobs in January, none of those positions have anything to do with the business of weed. It’s part of the reason that cannabis resource Leafly decided several years ago to start issuing its own jobs report. It wanted to show America just how impactful the cannabis trade is becoming and perhaps outline its importance for thousands of workers in those states where marijuana is legal.
“If the U.S. government doesn’t count your job, in many ways, your job doesn’t count,” Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott said in a statement. “We created the Leafly Jobs Report in 2017 to show that the cannabis industry is an unseen economic growth engine. Four years later, that remains true.
“In 2020, we’re seeing older markets becoming more established, and dramatic expansion and growth in areas across the country — proving legal cannabis is not just a coastal phenomenon anymore,” he added. “And we expect big things in 2020, with these trends pointing to triple-digit growth in the Midwest, a spike in hiring in newly legalized states, and even more folks becoming comfortable with cannabis and boosting legal dispensary sales.”
But what about all of those layoffs we’ve heard about?
While it is true that some cannabis firms have had to downsize a bit to stay afloat, the damage hasn’t been all that severe. Hundreds of people employed by cannabis firms in the U.S. and Canada have been let go in recent months, but a lot more opportunities are being created by other companies in the game. Interestingly, even Leafly, the creator of the jobs reports, has had to downsize to stay competitive. It recently laid off 54 members of its staff to “more closely align our business operations with the market realities of the technology and cannabis sectors in which we operate,” according to Leafly CEO Tim Leslie. What that means exactly is anyone’s guess.
The rub is the cannabis industry continues to be a strong contender in the U.S. economy. Sure, some companies are tanking — that’s just the nature of business — while others continue to flourish and grow. We can expect these types of growing pains in the industry for a while. The market is still so new and shrouded by uncertainty that expecting the stability of perhaps a longtime employer such as the alcohol industry is just not realistic. But it will get there, undoubtedly making impressive strides once the federal government gets on board and recognizes the sector as a legitimate business. That’s when we could easily see this industry employing millions.
This growth could happen within the next few years, too, depending on how the upcoming election shakes out.
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Original Post: Cannabis Now: Trump Campaign Official Says Pot Should be ‘Kept Illegal’
[Canniseur: Love Mr. Adam’s writing and not just because we are thinking alike about this. He nails the president’s views on cannabis…if he indeed really has any that are positive rather than negative. This is a cogent review of the administration’s views on cannabis legalization. It won’t happen while this guy is president…I guarantee it.]
If the Democrats cannot figure out their strategy for dominating the upcoming election, there is a fair chance that we could see President Trump weaseling his way back into the White House for a second term. And while some cannabis advocates would be pleased as punch with this turn of events others believe that any other candidate, and we do mean any, would be better for the sanity of the United States.
But ask toking Trumpsters why it is that they have grown so keen on reelecting the Donald and they’ll tell you, “He’s the only president so far that has said he would legalize marijuana at the federal level.” Ah, yes, we remember the comment. It was just two years ago, ahead of the G-7 summit in Canada, when Trump told reporters that he would “probably” support a long since dead cannabis bill known as the STATES Act. Since then, Trump supporters have believed that “their president” sides with them with respect to legalizing marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
Well, not so fast, maverick.
Just weeks after a secret tape surfaced, revealing that Trump seriously thinks that marijuana is leading to the dumbing down of America, a new interview with his Director of Strategic Communications, Marc Lotter, shows that Trump doesn’t support the legalization of marijuana at the national level. Earlier this week, Lotter told Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS-TV that President Trump is still dedicated to keeping the prohibition standard in this country.
“I think the president has been pretty clear on his views on marijuana at the federal level. I know many states have taken a different path,” Lotter said. “I think what the president is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent — of a parent of a young person — to make sure that we keep our kids away from drugs. They need to be kept illegal. That is the federal policy.”
But, Trump said he would…
Yeah, yeah, we know what he said. You see, the confusion over whether Trump is pro-pot or not really stems from statements made during his 2016 campaign. That’s when he professed to the nation that marijuana legalization should be allowed to move forward as a state’s rights issue. Trump never came out and said that the old U.S. of A needs to be legalizing some weed. It wasn’t until 2018 that he made comments about supporting the STATES Act, which was not precisely designed to legalize the leaf at the federal level, but to — yep, you guessed it — strengthen the cause in terms of state’s rights. The bill, which is deader than a doornail at this point, simply aimed to actually give states the freedom to legalize however they see fit without federal interference. It was one of those toe-in-the-water bills that Congress likes to noodle with on occasion. Many journalists wrote that the passing of such a measure would have effectively legalized weed nationwide, but that wasn’t exactly true. There would have been no major changes to the Controlled Substances Act, and marijuana would have remained illegal at the federal level.
So, yeah, Trump said he might support that two years ago. It was no skin off his back. After all, most law-abiding cannabis operations in the 40 odd states that have them are being left alone, anyway.
But ahead of the 2020 campaign, political analysts predicted that President Trump might come out in favor of marijuana legalization as a way to stay competitive with all of the Democrats that have done the same. All except for Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg support bringing down pot prohibition once and for all. Hell, even Congressional Democrats suspected that Trump would eventually get behind legal weed to get reelected. If we look back a ways, Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon wrote in his 2018 “Blueprint to Legalize Marijuana in the 116th Congress” that “if we fail to act swiftly, I fear as the 2020 election approaches, Donald Trump will claim credit for our work in an effort to shore up support — especially from young voters.”
Welp, it seems like everyone was wrong.
Listen, I’m going to be honest with you folks, this situation with Trump creates even more trouble for legal weed. Right now, the Democrats are trying to develop a plan that would allow them to regain control of the Senate, as well as the presidency. But if they had to choose one, they are really frothing at the mouth over the possibility of laying claims to the upper chamber. It’s the reason that some predict Democrat Bernie Sanders — a candidate that has sworn to legalize marijuana nationwide on his first day in office — will fail to get the nomination again this year. Some are worried that his socialist ideals will turn off suburban America and cause an uprising in Republicans to make noise at the polls.
In a perfect, pot-friendly world, we would see the Democrats taking both the Senate and the presidency in 2020. This scenario would allow the most potential for marijuana legalization to strike nationwide in 2021. But if Democrats lose the Senate and win the presidency, legal weed could still be six or more years away. Then again, if they win the Senate and President Trump gets reelected, marijuana is probably still going to be delayed for another four years. No matter what marijuana-related measure a Democratic-controlled Congress pushes through, Trump is not likely to support it. Really, the only chance we have at seeing full-blown legalization soon is if voters decide by November that they would rather support the path of the Dems rather than Republicans.
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Original Post: Cannabis Now: MLB Set to Stop Testing Players for Marijuana
[Canniseur: I can’t say enough about this huge change of policy for Major League Baseball. It’s about time. MLB has been vocally and adamantly against drugs of any sort. Now the league is going to test for opiates only. In an odd way, this reminds me of the time that Doc Ellis, a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched a no-hitter against San Diego while tripping on acid. This cannabis policy change is overdue. It will help create a change in the perception of cannabis and athletics and was made by one of the most powerful sports agencies in the U.S. Mike Adams story about the change is terrific. This change is happening in both the major and minor leagues.]
America’s favorite pastime is about to get a lot more interesting, at least for players who like to hit weed as much as they do home runs. The MLB (Major League Baseball) and the MLB Players Association have decided that it is a detriment to the health of those who play the sport to test for marijuana. The organizations have determined, instead, that it would be more advantageous to implement a new set of drug testing protocols aimed at keeping players from striking out on opioids. But as far as marijuana goes, it is no longer going to be cause for disciplinary action.
In the latest agreement, the MLB is moving to eliminate the cannabis plant from its list of banned substances. It means Minor leaguers will no longer be subjected to drug testing for the herb, which puts them right in line with the Majors. MLB players have not been tested for pot in almost 20 years. Nope, back in 2002, the MLB put the kibosh on those shenanigans. The league is more concerned these days about players using performance-enhancing drugs and painkillers than it is with them showing up to play with THC in their system.
Still, it took a minute for the Minors to catch up with this progressive drug policy. Until now, these players were at risk of a 25-game suspension if they got nailed for pot even once. They faced a 50-game suspension for testing positive a second time and 100 games the third time around. Players who couldn’t get their act together after that were at risk of getting banned for life. So, you know, the MLB used to take all of that “three-strikes and you’re out” stuff pretty seriously.
But not for much longer.
“As part of a new agreement on opioids being negotiated between Major League Baseball and the players’ union, MLB will remove marijuana from the list of banned substances for minor leaguers, sources tell The Athletic. Major leaguers have not been subject to testing for marijuana,” MLB insider Ken Rosenthal wrote in a Twitter post earlier this week.
Marijuana is still struggling, however, to find acceptance in all sports. The National Football League (NFL) doesn’t allow players to use it, not even for medicinal purposes, and neither does the National Basketball Association (NBA). There are some stiff penalties, too, for those players who break the rules. It was just last month that Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters was suspended for 10 games after he suffered a cannabis-induced panic attack on a flight from Phoenix to Las Angeles. This suspension is reportedly going to cost Waiters $834,483 in forfeited salary. He also misses out on a $1.2 million bonus that was set to come after he completed 70 games during the regular season.
As it stands, the National Hockey League (NHL) is the only professional sports organization that doesn’t give two-flying squirts if their players test positive for marijuana. They still check for it, but they do not impose any punishments — no suspensions or fines — for those who get popped. The only stipulation is if a player shows up to a game stoned and disrespects his team and the sport.
But other than that, weed isn’t a big deal in the eyes of the NHL. In fact, parts of the organization believe that marijuana could benefit players. The NHL Alumni Association is presently involved with a research program to see if cannabis medicine might help players suffering from brain injuries. Other sports organizations are still on the fence about medicinal use.
A report from TMZ Sports suggests that the MLB’s policy change on marijuana and opioids could be a reaction to Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs suffering a fatal opioid overdose earlier this year. Skaggs tested positive for Oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol at the time of his death.
The MLB’s drug policy change is not quite a done deal, not yet. Tony Clark, MLB players’ union chief, believes the agreement will be finalized before the end of the year. It will be in place before the start of the next season. So, don’t be surprised if you start seeing hotdog vendors hanging around in the dugouts. Baseball players are getting ready to be hella hungry come summer 2020.
MLB Set to Stop Testing Players for Marijuana was posted on Cannabis Now.