Annual pro-marijuana event again postponed

GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) — An annual pro-marijuana event in western Massachusetts that attracts thousands of people has again been postponed, this time until next year.

Organizers of Extravaganja tell The Daily Hampshire Gazette the ongoing coronavirus pandemic prompted them to put off this year’s festival until next April 17.

The postponement, organizers wrote in an announcement, is to “allow for more time for organizing, planning and preparing for Extravaganja 2021.”

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Court says Bay Area auto thief should not be banned from using marijuana

A state appeals court has ruled that a convicted auto thief in San Rafael should not have been barred from marijuana use as a condition of his probation.

The vehicle was reported stolen in March 2019. Brayan Alexander Cruz Cruz, 21, was arrested five days later after police found him in the vehicle. Cruz Cruz accepted a guilty plea in less than two weeks.

Before the sentencing, Cruz Cruz told the probation department he used alcohol and marijuana on occasion. He said he had used marijuana on the day of his arrest.

Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

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Are cannabis shops targeting California’s Black, Latino and poor communities?

Unlicensed cannabis retailers are disproportionately setting up shop in California communities with higher percentages of Black and Latino residents, according to a new study by health experts from USC.

That means, nearly four years after the state voted to license recreational cannabis businesses, residents of minority neighborhoods still have easier access to marijuana products that are highly potent, less likely to be tested for safety, don’t have child-safe packaging and are often cheaper than the highly regulated products found in licensed marijuana stores. Researchers say such access could worsen existing health disparities for minority and poor communities.

Previous studies have shown that a similar pattern of locating disproportionate numbers of liquor and tobacco retailers in lower-income neighborhoods has harmed the health of people living in those communities.

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Are cannabis shops targeting California’s Black, Latino and poor communities?

Unlicensed cannabis retailers are disproportionately setting up shop in California communities with higher percentages of Black and Latino residents, according to a new study by health experts from USC.

That means, nearly four years after the state voted to license recreational cannabis businesses, residents of minority neighborhoods still have easier access to marijuana products that are highly potent, less likely to be tested for safety, don’t have child-safe packaging and are often cheaper than the highly regulated products found in licensed marijuana stores. Researchers say such access could worsen existing health disparities for minority and poor communities.

Previous studies have shown that a similar pattern of locating disproportionate numbers of liquor and tobacco retailers in lower-income neighborhoods has harmed the health of people living in those communities.

Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

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Guest Commentary: The use of cannabis in the United States should be decriminalized

Amid the long-overdue national conversation about achieving true social justice, one key element is being largely overlooked: The need to end decades of misguided drug policy that has disproportionately taken a toll on minority communities.

An issue certain to arise in the presidential campaign is whether the use of cannabis should be decriminalized, or whether it should remain illegal under federal law. I believe the current federal prohibition must be repealed.

First, the grim truth is that America’s war on drugs, coupled with decades of disinvestment, has contributed to a cycle of poverty, violence and incarceration and contributed to the societal injustice we are working to unravel.

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Seven indicted for allegedly running prostitution ring out of Denver massage parlors

A Denver grand jury indicted seven people and 12 businesses for running an alleged international human trafficking operation comprised of illicit massage parlors and black market marijuana grow operations, the Denver District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

The seven individuals, indicted on 33 felony counts, are accused of “engaging in a pattern of racketeering in which the massage parlors were the nexus for running a complex pimping, prostitution, money laundering and tax evasion operation that generated millions of dollars,” the DA’s office said in a news release.

“We believe that the defendants were hiding in plain sight as they trafficked women from China to engage in sex acts with customers of their massage businesses,” Beth McCann, Denver’s District Attorney, said in a statement.

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June was Colorado’s biggest marijuana sales month ever. July was likely bigger.

June marks the first month in Colorado history that recreational marijuana shops sold more than $150 million worth of products as cannabis consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to set industry records.

Recreational marijuana consumers spent $158,102,628 at Colorado shops in June, according to data from the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. It’s a 6% increase of the previous single-month recreational sales record of $149,186,615 that was set in May, state data shows.

Last June, rec shops sold roughly $122.4 million in products. Before this year, monthly recreational sales had only eclipsed $140 million one time, in August 2019, state data shows. That month, dispensaries combined to sell $173,219,859 worth of products.

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Monterey revisiting legalizing cannabis dispensaries

MONTEREY — Elected officials in Monterey will revisit the debate over joining most of the rest of the Peninsula in allowing cannabis dispensaries in the city. Citing sales-tax revenue being siphoned off to other cities, council members this week voted 4-1 to place it on a meeting agenda as soon as September.

Councilman Alan Haffa, who requested that the council consider the topic, said that roughly seven in 10 voters in Monterey supported the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in 2016. In the past, Haffa said, the council has taken a wait-and-see approach.

“In the interim, we’ve seen Del Rey Oaks open a successful dispensary; Seaside opened a number of dispensaries; we’ve seen a dispensary in The Barnyard in Carmel and recently Marina has moved forward,” he said.

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Ticker: Pot grower fined, fishing gets relief

After imposing a cumulative $800,000 in fines last month, the Cannabis Control Commission slapped a $120,000 fine Thursday on a cultivator and manufacturer that sold vaporizer cartridges that exceeded allowed state limits for ethanol.

The commission unanimously approved the fine and a four-month probation period for Revolutionary Clinics, which grows marijuana and manufactures marijuana products in Fitchburg, after the two sides reached a settlement. The company said one of its lab technicians, who has since been fired, did not read the complete test results showing that the cartridges exceeded the state’s ethanol limit and therefore could not be sold.

“In September 2019, we participated in a voluntary dispute resolution conference with the CCC and subsequently provided a full account of transactions associated with reports of the excess ethanol and provided documentation that all customers had been notified of the test results,” Revol…

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Grandmother sues after she was arrested at Disney with CBD oil in her purse

By Gregory Lemos | CNN

Attorney Ben Crump has filed a civil lawsuit against several entities including, The Walt Disney Co. and the Orange County Sheriff, on behalf of Hester Burkhalter, a 69-year-old White woman from Hickory, North Carolina, and her family.

Crump said she “was wrongfully arrested and taken into custody at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, for possessing federally legal CBD oil” in 2019.

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New cannabis coworking space in Santa Ana aims to boost industry access, diversity

Anyone with experience in the legal cannabis industry will tell you that, given the steep regulatory costs, it typically takes north of $1 million to open a marijuana business in California.

And with cannabis still illegal under federal law, it’s also notoriously hard for industry entrepreneurs — and particularly entrepreneurs of color — to borrow money to cover those startup costs.

Those two factors are behind another often-quoted industry statistic: an estimated 81% of marijuana business owners are white.

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