Browsing: Feds ‘N Heads

hemp.ben.droz.4Ben Droz

Congress made long-awaited history this week when it put language that would legalize industrial hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill, which President Donald Trump is expected to sign into law.

Colorado, which has more acreage devoted to registered hemp farms than any other state under a pilot program, is better equipped for the predicted boom than most of the country. Appearing in a joint press conference on December 14 outside the cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg, several key members of the Colorado Legislature and the hemp industry shared their enthusiasm over new opportunities opened up by the Farm Bill.

jeff.sessions.shutterstock (1)Shutterstock.com/mark reinstein

The forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have much larger implications for where Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Donald Trump is heading, but ousting ol’ Jeffy was a score for the marijuana industry.

Sessions has a long history of hating the plant, and the hits kept coming during his short time as AG. In the ’80s, he’d said that he thought members of the Ku Klux Klan “were okay until I found out they smoked pot.” That didn’t stop Trump from appointing Sessions to AG in 2017, however, and that’s when the real madness began.

norml-summer-camp-marijuana-flag-smores-collins-2018 (1)Jacqueline Collins

While immigration, health care and gun control continue to divide the country, at least one issue is starting to bring us together: legalizing cannabis.

After the November 6 election, Michigan will be joining Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont as the tenth state to legalize recreational cannabis, while Utah and Missouri each approved medical marijuana measures. And those weren’t the only victories for cannabis.

hemp-cbd-oil-shutterstockShutterstock

Amendment X, a ballot measure that takes industrial hemp out of the Colorado Constitution, passed by a narrow margin on Tuesday, November 6. The proposal needed 55 percent approval from voters to succeed, and it currently sits at slightly over 60 percent, with more than 90 percent of the state’s votes counted.

Colorado was the only state in the country to have industrial hemp defined in its constitution, but a large portion of the hemp industry believed that definition was going to prove more of a hindrance than a help. The Colorado Constitution currently defines hemp as a marijuana plant containing no more than 0.3 percent THC; anything over that threshold is considered marijuana by the State of Colorado.

horseback.riding.thinkstock.800Thinkstock

A lawsuit filed by two Colorado landowners who claim that a nearby marijuana grow has reduced their property values in part because the smell makes horseback riding less pleasant goes to trial in Denver federal court today. And the repercussions of the suit’s strategy, based on federal racketeering laws, could have far-reaching effects on the cannabis industry in Colorado and beyond.

The case was filed in February 2015 by Safe Streets Alliance, a national anti-pot group, on behalf of two members, Phillis Windy Hope Reilly and Michael P. Reilly. Early on, the effort didn’t seem particularly professional: Note that the organization misspelled marijuana as “marajuana” in its initial press release on the subject. But SSA’s success in court over the past three years-plus has overcome this gaffe.

dixie elixirs Courtesy of Dixie Brands

Once Canada began its cannabis legalization efforts, investors’ eyes shifted from the fragmented state policies in America to a federal government up north that was open for business. The money soon followed: Reports of massive investments from companies like Molson-Coors and rumors of interest from Coca-Cola continue to swirl around Canada’s new legal cannabis sector (legalization will officially begin October 17) — and Colorado brands have taken notice.

Dixie Elixirs is one of a handful prominent cannabis companies based in Colorado that has already began establishing itself in the Canadian market, but Dixie took it a step further last week when the brand announced its intentions to go public in Canada. To learn more about the financial obstacles pot companies face in America, and how they’re going north to avoid them, we talked to Dixie CEO Chuck Smith.

women.vaping.marijuana.jacqueline.collinsJacqueline Collins

Since 2013, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a federally funded law-enforcement organization, has been issuing highly critical, persistently biased reports about the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado.

But beyond a few scattered stories and a brief reference in U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer’s unexpectedly strident September 28 anti-pot op-ed in the Denver Post, the group’s latest salvo, released this month, has gotten comparatively little traction, especially compared to its earliest offerings.

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