Marijuana News in Arizona and World
Over 100 US financial institutions are now working directly with marijuana-related businesses in states that have legal marijuana markets, according to the US Department of Treasury.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery acknowledged that US financial institutions have filed over 1,000 reports with the Treasury Department in regards to businesses engaged in the sale of marijuana and marijuana-related goods and services.
“Currently 105 individual financial institutions from states in more than one third of the country engaged in banking relationships with marijuana-related businesses,” stated Calvery.
The Treasury Department and the Justice Department issued two memos in February providing limited guidance to financial institutions that wish to engage in transactions with state-sanctioned marijuana businesses.
In July, the US House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation restricting the Treasury Department’s ability to take punitive actions against financial institutions that provide assistance to state-authorized marijuana businesses.
However, the US Senate has yet to take any action on the measure.
Authorities in Nevada are working on a plan that would allow medical marijuana patients from other states, including Arizona, to purchase medical marijuana at Nevada , which will be opening in early 2015.
The bureau chief of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health said that Nevada’s new medical marijuana program will allow Arizona residents to shop at dispensaries if they are part of the medical marijuana program in Arizona.
Brian Sandoval, the governor of Nevada, has officially said that up to 66 dispensaries will open all over the state, with the first expected to open in Las Vegas at the beginning of 2015.
According to state, Nevada dispensaries can choose to honor out of state medical marijuana cardholders as long as the state that issued their license has an electronic database of patients that “allows the Division and medical marijuana dispensaries in (Nevada) to access the database.”
This measure would obviously need to first be approved by authorities in Arizona. Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, is hesitant to believe that this law would ever work out in conjunction with Arizona cardholders because the system in which medical marijuana is sold and regulated is specific to Arizona dispensaries. However, Nevada authorities are confident that once the organized system is functioning by early 2015, their dispensaries won’t even need to access the database in Arizona, and that onsiteagents will be able to validate the out-of-towners’ licenses.
There are more than a few details that need ironing out, but if all goes according to plan, Arizona medical marijuana cardholders and other states will have a few more reasons to visit Las Vegas next year.
The District of Columbia Board of Elections agreed to put an initiative on this November’s ballot that would legalize marijuana for recreational use in the district. This prompted an interesting question: Will Congress be allowed to use marijuana recreationally?
If passed, Initiative 71 will allow D.C. residents over the age of 21 to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana, cultivate up to six plants, and transfer (not sell) up to 1 ounce. All members of Congress who live in D.C. are adults, so technically they will be permitted to use marijuana at their leisure.
Marijuana possession is still illegal on federal property. So until marijuana is removed from the Schedule I substance list, it will not be allowed on federal property. Members of Congress won’t be able to light up at work, but they can at home – if they live in the district. “Possessing marijuana in their [Congress members'] own home would be legal under D.C., as it would be for anybody else,” said Bill Piper, the director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.
And Initiative 71 does not include any additional provisions related to Congress either. A subsection addresses the professional workplace, but states that agencies, employers, and officers will not be required to allow their employees to use marijuana off the job. Basically, employers will still be allowed to enact their own drug-testing policies; but fortunately for members of Congress, their workplace doesn’t have one.
Currently, 35 states in America have reformed their via legislation or voter ballot initiatives to allow qualifying patients access to marijuana and/or marijuana-infused products for medical purposes.
This time last year, 21 states and the District of Columbia had medical marijuana laws – a sixty percent increase in one year.
A majority of these medical marijuana states allow for certain persons to grow marijuana and/or forto sell marijuana. A few states have limited medical marijuana programs where patients are only allowed to purchase and use marijuana-infused or -only products, such as oils or concentrates, which can be vaporized or consumed.
A few of the current medical marijuana states will be voting this November to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Many other states are looking into legalizing marijuana for medical purposes in the near future.
The first food safety course for manufacturers and retailers of marijuana-infused foods, or , has launched. There is also an additional course offered for “budtenders”, the customer service staff who work behind the counters of .
Figuring out exactly how to properly label and produce infused edibles has proven to be one of the most difficult aspects to regulate since marijuana became legal in Colorado. Producers want to ensure that uninformed consumers are not accidentally ingesting too much.
With the interest in marijuana-infused foods increasing daily, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), wants to make sure manufacturers and retailers are providing buyers with safe products. NCIA deputy director Taylor West says, “We know our industry is under a microscope, and we want to make sure cannabis product-makers continue developing the highest quality and safest products possible.”
Marijuana edibles have proved to be the most profitable aspect of the new recreational marijuana industry in Colorado, accounting for roughly two-thirds of the entire market.
Albuquerque is attempting to do away with jail time for anyone who is caught with an ounce or less of marijuana within the city limits. If the measure proposed by city council member Rey Garduno passes then jail time will be replaced with a small fine.
Garduno says that his proposition has the potential to save the city upwards of $5 million in legal fees alone. Thecurrently states that anyone caught with marijuana will be issued a $50 ticket and have to spend up to 15 days in jail, but if Garduno’s measure is approved this will simply be reduced to a $25 ticket.
The petition put together by Garduno has already gathered over 16,000 signatures from residents of Albuquerque who would like to see this measure put on the November ballot.
“This is directed at young people who may find themselves arrested and how it could affect their lives in the future,” said Garduno. “We’re treating people as criminals when alcohol and even tobacco may even be worse.”
There has been no word yet from city officials, as the mayor’s office said that they “do not comment on pending legislation.”
Residents of Washington D.C. will vote this November on whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
Marijuana advocates gathered more than 22,000 signatures in order to get the initiative on the ballot and the D.C. Board of elections unanimously voted in favor of the measure.
Mayor Vincent Gray signed into effect a decriminalization act in D.C. that as of last month allows residents to possess up to an ounce of marijuana on them with only the fear of a $25 fine and a civil offense.
Proponents of the legalization bill are confident that the House will not be able to block their initiative; however, there have been recent instances where residents have voted in favor of a measure that the mayor has chosen not to enforce. It happened last year when voters approved an amendment that would have given the district the ability to spend local tax money without Congress’s approval, but it was declined by the mayor.
Congress was even able to delay the medical marijuana program in D.C. by ten whole years after it was approved by voters.
If the initiative is approved in November, residents would be allowed to grow 6 marijuana plants at their home and possess up to 2 ounces. The sale of marijuana has yet to be addressed.
The world’s first press release distribution and publishing website exclusively for the marijuana industry, MJbizwire (www.MJbizwire.com), is fully launching in September.
The marijuana industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States and there are hundreds of business start-ups emerging each month. This rapid growth has created a demand for a inexpensive, reliable, and effective method of promoting information about the products and services offered by these businesses. MJbizwire.com’s goal is to provide marijuana business owners and managers with a way to accomplish this.
MJbizwire.com is a press release publication and distribution site that is dedicated to the recreational and medical marijuana industries. The site differentiates itself from other press release sites by offering affordable pricing and specialized distribution to leading marijuana industry publications.
“Press releases allow new or existing businesses a method toproducts, services, , or anything noteworthy to the world for a low, one-time price. This helps businesses easily and inexpensively reach their customer base. Press releases distributed via MJbizwire can be picked up and republished by a number of leading marijuana industry publications as well as by other major news websites, newspapers, and magazines” said Dan Kingston, President of MJbizwire.com.
MJbizwire is continually building partnerships with prominent marijuana industry websites and magazines, as well as major media publications. These publications often republish the press releases distributed via MJbizwire. Furthermore, journalists often use press releases to find information when researching news stories or when searching for topics and companies to feature in news articles.
Businesses can choose from a few different distribution pricing plans on MJbizwire.com, including a free distribution plan. Corporate accounts are also available for business that want to submit multiple press releases each month.
With marijuana changing, especially with recreational marijuana legalization beginning in both Colorado and Washington state, the term “marijuana” is often used by the media. And with more and more states looking into legalization efforts, it’s also a term that will continue to be used in the media.
“Marijuana” is a fairly recent term. Throughout the 19th century the term used was “cannabis” because it is from a genus of flowering plants species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica or Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis was used in many prescription drugs sold between 1840 and 1900 to help with migraines and insomnia. Multiple articles were written in U.S. scientific journals about the many benefits of cannabis.
During the Mexican Revolution in 1910, thousands upon thousands of struggling Mexicans fled their home country for the U.S. border states to avoid war, and with them they brought their favorite recreational substance, which they referred to as “mariguana.” (Nowadays spelled: marijuana.)
In an effort to slow down the increasing immigrant population, anti-marijuana laws began to be implemented. Many believe that bigotry played a large part in these initial laws, and this is the main reason that the U.S. border states were the first states to begin anti-marijuana campaigns disguised under the new term brought on by the Mexican immigrants.
Today, Americans’ perception of marijuana is shifting back towards a positive light as a result of scientific research proving that marijuana has medical benefits, and some economy-enhancing aspects. Americans have also done their best to create and use other terms for marijuana: weed, grass, pot, ganja, and others are all terms that have been adopted by Americans and the rest of the world alike.
The Arizona Department of Health Services’ (ADHS) August medical marijuana newsletter is now available. The ADHS newsletters are only mailed or emailed to Arizona’s medical marijuana cardholding patients each month. AZmarijuana.com also has a monthly newsletter about Arizona’s medical marijuana industry. Sign up here to receive our newsletter.