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After Texas legalized hemp and threw marijuana prosecution into chaos last year, prosecutors filed far fewer criminal charges, police departments paid for private testing and public crime labs were struggling to catch up.

From The Texas Tribune:

In a basement in Pueblo, Colorado, Capt. Leroy Mora with the local sheriff's department  shuffles through the artificial tropics of an illegal marijuana grow. In this stark-white room, a cobweb of electrical wiring powers rows of blowing fans and warm grow lights. 11 marijauna plants the size of Christmas trees are fed through a hydroponic system.

Neal Levine remembers the reaction he would get when he first introduced himself to statehouse legislators as a cannabis lobbyist.

“‘Is that a real job?’” he recalled. Yes, it is a real job.

As more and more states legalize marijuana in one form or another, it’s become a billion-dollar industry that has attracted the attention of federal lawmakers and lobbyists.

Will recreational and medical marijuana voters have more political clout in 2020? The Cannabis Voter Project hopes so. The project made inroads identifying voters during the 2018 midterm election and now they’re turning their recruitment efforts to pot stores in Colorado and across the country.

Between water and electricity, Colorado’s legal cannabis industry already has a big environmental footprint. But what about Front Range air quality? Could the plant itself be contributing to air pollution?

No, it’s not the pot smoke. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is conducting a study of terpenes, the organic compounds that make the cannabis plant smell so strong.

The House of Representatives passed legislation that would make it easier for licensed marijuana businesses to access financial services.

At a time when more than 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for either medical or recreational use, the U.S. surgeon general says no amount of the drug is safe for teens, young adults and pregnant women.

The scientists think they’ve come up with a solution to Texas’ pot problem.

Forensic and crime lab experts are optimistic state and local officials will support a new proposal that would allow for a faster, cheaper way to test suspected marijuana under the state’s new definition of the drug.

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Earlier this year, Texas passed a law legalizing hemp and hemp-derived products like CBD oil. The law changed the state’s legal definition of marijuana.

Sixty-three bills related to marijuana or hemp were filed at the beginning of the 86th Texas legislative session in January. Four measures passed out of the House, including bills that would establish a hemp market in Texas, reduce penalties for low-level marijuana possession and expand the list of Texans who can access medical marijuana.

After a brief discussion, the Texas House gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill that would reduce the penalties for low-level possession of marijuana — a move lauded as a win by those eager for the state to take its first major step toward loosening its staunch marijuana laws.

As more states across the country legalize recreational marijuana, there’s at least one place where the rules haven’t changed: the military. Active service members are strictly forbidden to use marijuana, whether it’s recreational or medicinal.

That creates tension in places that both rely on the economic stability nearby military bases bring and also have the opportunity to create a local recreational marijuana marketplace — which can bring in hefty tax dollars.

Inside a Denver bottling plant, Keith Villa watches as rows and rows of 10-ounce silver bottles whisk by, all filled with a golden-colored Belgian-style ale called Grainwave.

It looks and tastes like beer. But instead of alcohol, there's 5 milligrams of THC mixed inside. That's the psychoactive compound in marijuana that gets you high.

Colorado used to be on top of the cannabis world. As legalization spreads both in the U.S. and abroad, a lack of investor capital here could be the industry’s undoing.

“Now we are chasing the wagon,” said Dean Heizer, the executive director and chief legal strategist of LivWell. “And we need to get back on the wagon, and we need to get enough capital so that we can actually start driving the wagon again. We are falling behind.”

As marijuana becomes legal around the country, blacks and Latinos are often left out of new business opportunities. Advocates say people of color are often reluctant to join the growing legal marijuana economy because they were targeted far more often than whites during the war on drugs. Studies show members of such communities were arrested and jailed for illegal marijuana use far more often than whites.

Oklahoma medical marijuana and CBD businesses may need an $850 dollar food license.

Foods infused with CBD or THC, like oils, candy or honey are popular choices at dispensaries. Now the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which runs the state’s medical marijuana program, is reminding businesses that sell or manufacture those products that they need a food license by late April, or risk fines.

As Gov. John Hickenlooper mulls a presidential run on his way out of office, his most memorable entry into the history books may not be the one he had in mind. Voters wrote that one for him when they legalized regulated recreational marijuana in 2012.

An outspoken opponent of early efforts to legalize, Hickenlooper was suddenly called on by the voters to make it happen with Amendment 64. It wasn’t a role he relished once sales got under way.

A ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court could make it easier for police officers to search a home based on what they believe they smell.

In the recent ruling, four of the seven justices said that an officer’s belief she smelled unlit marijuana was probable cause to sweep an apartment in Douglas County and then ask for a search warrant.

Will Texas Loosen Its Marijuana Laws In 2019?

Dec 4, 2018

Since John Sawyer moved to Colorado from Dallas, Texas, he’s been baffled by something. He spends about $200 a month on cannabis. His preferred shop, Platte Valley Dispensary, does a brisk business and Sawyer sees the demand for recreational marijuana only climbing.

He’s baffled because of his wife’s teacher salary. In Dallas, she earned $70,000 a year. In Denver, same job, she makes $44,000.

Gov. Greg Abbott shared his views on marijuana use in Texas during Friday night's gubernatorial debate. He mentioned one idea that may have surprised marijuana advocates.


Oklahomans voted in 2016 to reduce penalties for drug possession and this year approved a state question welcoming medical marijuana into the state. Officials in two cities recently reacted to those decisions. 

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Two people arrested in south-central Nebraska in January are facing possible prison time for hauling over 100 pounds of marijuana on Interstate 80, where a separate traffic stop on Monday, yielded the seizure of another 100 pounds of pot.

As the Kearney Hub reports, authorities say a motorist saw and then picked up a package of marijuana that fell from a flatbed trailer being pulled by a pickup on I-80 on Jan. 19.

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The Oklahoma Board of Health has reversed course, now approving looser regulations for medical marijuana use in the Sooner State.

As StateImpact reports, the new rules now head to the desk of Gov. Mary Fallin for approval. The new emergency regulations are less than a third the length of the rules approved early last month. Under the new rules, a pharmacist will no longer be required to dispense marijuana.

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UPDATE: The Oklahoma Board of Health has now removed this regulation, which "experts criticized as vague and legally troublesome."

Oklahoma may soon become the only state to require a pregnancy test in order for residents to obtain permission to use medical marijuana.

From Texas Standard.

Canadian lawmakers voted Tuesday to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Our northern neighbors are only the second country in the world to legalize marijuana. This poses a question: Are times changing? In their recently adopted party platform, Texas Republicans endorsed medical marijuana, cannabis decriminalization and industrial hemp.

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is being criticized by some for his veto of a pot bill that some think could boost the black market for pot.

As The Denver Post reports, Hickenlooper, a term-limited Democrat, vetoed a bill that would have opened up the cannabis industry to investment by public companies. Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, said help proliferate the black market for pot.

Lawmakers in the Kansas House rejected an effort Monday to allow medical marijuana in the state.

But they advanced a plan to allow the sale of some products made from cannabis — if the high-producing compounds have been removed.

The discussion over legalizing cannabis for medical purposes came as lawmakers considered regular updates to the state’s drug laws.

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Even though marijuana is legal in Colorado, because it is still illegal on the federal level, any job in the industry can be classified as trafficking in a controlled substance – something that is not necessarily a concern to industry’s state-licensed employees, except non-citizens.  

As Colorado Public Radio reports, just having a job in a marijuana dispensary or grow house can get even a legal resident deported and banned from the US – sometimes for life.

Kansas sits in a shrinking pool of states with the strictest marijuana and hemp laws, surrounded by a wave of decriminalization and legalization that’s swept most of the U.S.

So it’s no surprise that the topic of cannabis keeps cropping up in the Kansas Statehouse, where some lawmakers and lobbyists want the Free State to jump on the bandwagon.

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