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The Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that a company acted improperly when it fired medical marijuana patient Cristina Barbuto after she tested positive for pot. The Colorado Supreme Court reached the opposite conclusion in an analogous 2015 case, determining that DISH had the right to dismiss paralyzed MMJ patient Brandon Coats following his own positive test for cannabis. And while the Barbuto finding won’t directly impact the Colorado case, Coats’s lawyer sees a trend toward granting more patient protections here and in other medical marijuana states.

Lindsey Bartlett

On July 20, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018, authorizing $38.4 billion in spending. Wedged into this bill was the Industrial Hemp Water Rights Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation introduced in part by Colorado senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner.

MSNBC

Mason Tvert, a key figure in the passage of Amendment 64, the 2012 measure that legalized limited recreational marijuana sales, and the Denver pot-legalization regulation that preceded it, is leaving his post as communications director for the national Marijuana Policy Project in favor of a similar position at VS Strategies, a Denver-based consulting firm that’s become a national powerhouse.

Danielle Lirette

Two new studies on marijuana consumption and acceptance show changing landscapes in public support of states’ rights and a stark admission on workplace use.

One recent study was commissioned by Marijuana Majority, an organization that works to spotlight marijuana as a growing mainstream issue. The survey questioned 1,500 participants about their ideas on marijuana consumer rights, finding 76 percent of participants across the political spectrum (Democrat, Republican and anything in between) believed the federal government should let states implement their own laws regarding marijuana.

William Breathes

The most prominent anti-marijuana group in the country is touting the absence of language in a key Congressional funding bill that has protected the medical marijuana industry in Colorado and beyond from federal prosecution in recent years. But a cannabis advocate dismisses the suggestion that this development could soon unleash a law-enforcement blitzkrieg against the MMJ biz.

In the words of Tom Angell, who leads the national organization Marijuana Majority, “This is a gigantic nothingburger.”

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