New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little said voters will get to decide whether or not to legalize adult-use cannabis during the 2020 general election, according to a New York Times report. New Zealand has demonstrated increasing support for cannabis legalization, having just last weekexpanded its restrictive medical cannabis program to allow for easier access. A recent news poll showed that 46 percent of voters favor legalizing cannabis, with 41 percent opposed. Audrey Young of the New Zealand Herald said that the movement was favoring legalization for two reasons: “the advancement in the medicinal cannabis regime and the law just being passed, and also just that gathering sense of global opinion that the war on drugs is lost and that the health approach is the one to take.” LEGAL WEED IN AUSTRALIA

Fiona Patten moves to legalise cannabis, predicts revenue of $205m

Re-elected MP Fiona Patten has put drug law reform at the top of her political agenda by introducing a bill to legalise marijuana in Victoria, which she hopes will gain the support of the new Parliament.

WA woman’s sacrifice for medicinal cannabis [West Australian]

The 29-year-old, who has had epilepsy since she was 12, pays almost $600 for a month’s supply of Tilray medical cannabis — a cost she is struggling to afford. LEGAL WEED IN AUSTRALIA

Parents who gave cannabis oil treatment to son to treat autism have no convictions recorded [ABC]

A central Queensland mother and father have escaped jail time for administering home-grown cannabis oil to their five-year-old son with autism. One charge, supplying a dangerous drug to a minor, came with a maximum 25-year jail sentence. But neither had convictions recorded against them and they received a total of $900 in fines.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Wanna buy some pot? [EchoNetdaily]

Thank God (or Goddess) for Nimbin.

Drug Summit Secord Media Release

NORTH AMERICA

Washington Approves More Reasonable Policy Changes for Edibles [The Marijuana Times]

Under the new regulations, cannabis companies will be expected to avoid bright colors. They will be allowed to work with a “standard pantone color book” and naturally-occurring colors. These color requirements will be applied to both the products themselves and the packaging. There will also be a full list of shapes for gummies and other candies – with exceptions for things like non-profit collaborations. The full list of allowable colors and shapes will become available in January.

Washington Adopts New Cannabis Investment & Packaging Rules [Ganjapreneur]

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) adopted new interim policies on investment rules, edible packaging, and product labeling on December 12.

How Florida’s $250M medical cannabis market could open up to new businesses in 2019 [Marijuana Business Daily]

More competitors would be a change for the Sunshine State’s large MMJ market, which currently is dominated by about a half-dozen vertically integrated operators.

Suit aims to keep California highway patrol from assisting federal marijuana enforcement [Marijuana Business Daily]

A class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco County Superior Court is asking a California judge to block the state’s highway patrol from seizing and turning over cash and other assets from state-legal marijuana companies to federal authorities.

New York Gov. Commits to Cannabis Legalization [Ganjapreneur]

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Monday that he would push to legalize adult-use cannabis within a matter of months, The New York Times reports. The move is expected to generate some $1.7 billion in annual sales and, according to Cuomo, is representative of his administration’s efforts to “advance our justice agenda and particularly address the forms of injustice that for too long have unfairly targeted the African-American and minority communities.” “The fact is we have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well off, and one for everyone else,” he said.

Pro-medical marijuana lobbies spent $95,000-plus in the South Carolina Statehouse[Palmetto Politics]

As South Carolina lawmakers begin debate again on medical marijuana in the coming weeks, there’s something everyone should know. Behind every cause there’s hired guns. A check of lobbyists with the State Ethics Commission shows leading supporters of medical pot hired boosters to push their agenda with legislators in 2018.

US Senator plans to pitch measure to resolve cannabis’ legal, financial issues [Marijuana Business Daily]

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner plans to introduce an amendment to a criminal justice reform bill that would fully protect state-legal marijuana programs as well as resolve banking and taxation issues that currently vex the MJ industry, his office confirmed Friday. LEGAL WEED IN AUSTRALIA

Virginia entrepreneur wants to start marijuana gifting business in Detroit [Detroit Free Press]

While legal weed may be hard to find until it becomes commercially available in early 2020, it was only a matter of time before budding entrepreneurs came up with a way around Michigan’s new recreational marijuana law. On High Road, a Boston-based online business founded and owned by Brandon Anthony, a 33-year-old Virginia native, plans to start a marijuana “gifting” service in Detroit this month.  Anthony will sell someone 21 or older a “munchie bag” filled with cookies or a muffin, candy or a T-shirt, for anywhere between $55 to $120. Along with the purchase of the bag: a gift of marijuana, no more than the 2.5 ounces allowed under Michigan law.  Under that law, the only way to get marijuana right now is to grow it, be a medical marijuana cardholder or have someone give it to you — not sell it. LEGAL WEED IN AUSTRALIA

Marijuana pesticide contamination worries Oregon farmers [The News Tribune]

Concerns about pesticide drift are nothing new in agriculture, but the issue has taken on new gravity for Oregon farmers with marijuana-growing neighbors. Due to Oregon’s pesticide testing regime for marijuana and its high value, growers of more conventional crops worry about getting blamed for contamination that renders the mind-altering flowers unsalable.

Colorado publishes latest statistics on impact of cannabis legalisation [EMCDDA]

In the US state of Colorado, use and sale of cannabis for recreational purposes has been legal since January 2014, and it has been commercialised for medical purposes since 2009. The main arguments for legalisation were that it would increase law enforcement efficiency, revenue and individual freedom. The state government instructed the state Department of Public Safety to report on key statistics of cannabis-related topics including crime, impaired driving, hospital visits, usage rates, effects on youth. A second biennial report was released in October 2018.

Canada warns citizens to buy legal marijuana with cash so foreign countries do not bar them from entry [Independent]

Canada is warning its citizens to buy legal marijuana with cash, in order to ensure their “sensitive” personal data is not intercepted by countries – including the US – who may bar cannabis users from entering.

 WORLD

UK’s Royal College of GPs sets out advice on prescribing cannabis [GP Online]

GPs should warn patients hoping to access cannabis-based medicines that the process is ‘unlikely to be fast’ according to guidance published today by the RCGP. LEGAL WEED IN AUSTRALIA

Briton ‘faces up to 15 years’ in Bali jail over cannabis oil [BBC]

A British man says he could face up to 15 years in an Indonesian prison after being found with cannabis oil which he says he needed for medical reasons. LEGAL WEED IN AUSTRALIA buy weed in Perth

Duterte willing to sign any medical marijuana bill [ABS CBN News]

President Rodrigo Duterte will support any bill that will seek the legalization of medical marijuana. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo noted Duterte has already made his stand on several instances favoring the legalization of medical marijuana.

Barbados to Legalise Medical Cannabis, Hold Referendum on Recreational Legalisation[Talking Drugs]

Barbados is preparing to create a domestic medical cannabis industry and will hold a referendum on broader legalisation, the prime minister has said.

South Korea Approves Medical Marijuana [US News]

In late November, however, South Korea’s National Assembly moved to ease laws and allow non-hallucinogenic doses of medical cannabis, making it the first East Asian nation to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, according to the Financial Times. Patients with epilepsy and several rare diseases will legally be able to get medical cannabis beginning as soon as early 2019, the country’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety announced, according to The Korea Herald.

Marijuana legislation for 2019 [Trinidad & Tobago Newsday]

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi says legislation on the decriminalisation of marijuana will be brought to Parliament in the first half of 2019.

BUSINESS & POLICY

Hemp is About to Be Legal. Here’s What You Need to Know [Medical Marijuana Inc]

At any moment, hemp will become legal in the United States. The 2018 Farm Bill, which includes provisions to legalize hemp federally, passed the Senate and House last week and now only needs Donald Trump’s signature. Here’s what you need to know as hemp nears legalization with the passing of this historic measure. LEGAL WEED IN AUSTRALIA

Marijuana Dispensaries Positively Impact Nearby Property Values, Study Finds [Medical Marijuana Inc]

The findings suggest that having a marijuana dispensary in your neighborhood could increase the value of your home.

How Water-Soluble Cannabinoids Could Change the Cannabis Beverage Market[Cannabis Business Times]

As the cannabis-infused beverage market continues to take shape, many companies are turning to nanotechnology to more easily dissolve fat-soluble cannabinoids into liquids. Trait Biosciences, however, is looking for another solution, developing technology that can create water-soluble cannabinoids that would mix easily into drinks.

A Gathering of Prohibitionists [The Marijuana Times]

This brings us to a recent gathering of prohibitionists in West Virginia. Organized by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia Mike Stuart – a man as about as hostile to the notion of cannabis legalization as someone can be – the gathering featured several speakers, all of whom are anti-legalization. LEGAL WEED IN AUSTRALIA

Brand development, scale drive cannabis dollars [Marijuana Business Daily]

Cannabis firms have raised more than $13.7 billion in 2018 as U.S.-based operators work to grow their domestic footprints and Canadian cannabis companies consider international opportunities.

‘The next major battle’: Sununu charges against marijuana legalization [Concorde Monitor]

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu came out swinging against the effort to legalize marijuana Friday, calling it one of the biggest policy fights for his administration next year and urging members of a prominent state drug and alcohol commission to rally against its passage.

Sweet Leaf cannabis business co-owners hit with $8.8M judgment [Denver Post]

The embattled owners of a once-thriving string of cannabis businesses along Colorado’s Front Range have been ordered by a Denver judge to pay $8.8 million after finding they failed to honor commitments to the owner of properties they were buying in Denver.

Congressional Democrats Release Report On Marijuana Legalization’s Economic Benefits [Marijuana Moment]

Titled, “The National Cannabis Economy,” the report finds that the marijuana industry brought in more than $8 billion in sales in 2017, with sales estimated to reach $11 billion this year and expected to soar to $23 billion by 2022.

Lawmakers In Two States Pre-File Bills To Allow Medical Marijuana At Schools[Marijuana Moment]

While the substance of the two pieces of legislation differ, the purpose of both is to ensure that students can continue to use cannabis in compliance with state law when they’re in school, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event. LEGAL WEED IN AUSTRALIA

Canadian cannabis spot price launched with futures trading eyed [Bloomberg]

Cannabis moved one step closer to being a tradable commodity like wheat or oil on Tuesday after a U.S.-based group launched the first benchmark price to track Canadian wholesale cannabis prices.

Maker of Budweiser is partnering with medical cannabis company Tilray in a $100m deal to research cannabis-infused drinks for Canadian market [Daily Mail]

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Tilray Inc. said each would invest $50 million in the project to study non-alcoholic drinks containing cannabidiol, or CBD, which some claim has calming and healing effects, and Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the cannabis compound known for its psychoactive effects. LEGAL WEED IN AUSTRALIA

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