The Advocate: Weekly Cannabis News

Massachusetts officials pushing for adult-use cannabis lounges & cafes

On Wednesday, subcommittee members of the Cannabis Control Commission voted to recommend that the state allows for social use establishments – providing a limited set of licenses to retail and brick and mortar locations that meet state requirements.

The subcommittee – Public Safety & Community Mitigation – will now take it’s approved vote to a Cannabis Advisory Board meeting early next week, where their proposals will be reviewed and finalized before being sent to the Cannabis Control Commission.

The state only recently celebrated it’s first adult-use sale, but the approval follows a trend that appears to be hitting the US hard in 2019. Colorado, Nevada, and Alaska are all currently reviewing their own proposals of cannabis lounges & cafes, with the Bay Area being of the few regions to offer these services – legally.

Expect stakeholders and public officials to continually push for these law changes as it will only boost their revenue from tourism and other markets most-affected by the industry.

Oregon Representative files bill that would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act

On Wednesday, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced bill H.R. 420 – proposing the US Federal Govt. to fully remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 Drug.

“Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives. Congress cannot continue to be out of touch with a movement that a growing majority of Americans support. It’s time to end this senseless prohibition,” stated Blumenauer to reporters on Tuesday.

In his new bill, the Oregon representative is calling for the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco be put in charge in regulating the drug at the federal level – giving its nickname “Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act”.

The bill will need to receive a few prominent cosponsors before gaining traction in the House, but with a handful of recent pro-cannabis representatives taking office in D.C., those needed endorsements could come sooner than later.

Legislature in Maine pursuing expungement processes 

Four Maine lawmakers are introducing legislation that would expunge the records of people with past cannabis convictions.

The representatives are also intending to push for a bill that would ‘seal’ the records of past convictions – making them invisible and impossible to see for potential employers.

It’s a move that a handful of states are all pursuing – because why should someone be punished for an activity that is now considered to be legal?

The bills will be addressed at the next legislative session, where more than 25 other cannabis-related bills are expected to be debated.

New Mexico officials hoping to better-protect MMJ patients

Officials in the state of New Mexico have introduced legislation that would make it unlawful for businesses to discriminate against MMJ patients, unless the employer can show a “preponderance of evidence that an employee’s lawful use of cannabis has impaired the ability to perform the employee’s job.”

While the bill isn’t all inclusive, it does ensure medical patients in the state would no longer have to fear failing a drug test, nor would they have to worry about their employer being okay with them using cannabis in their own privacy.

The bill will be one of 20+ bills debated in February’s upcoming legislative session, and if approved, it could set a potential precedent for other states to follow as more representatives look to better protect their constituents from unlawful discrimination.

John Kuster

As Social Media Coordinator, John oversees all things related to getting Revolution Enterprises' unique message out. An Iowa native, John joined the Revolution team to help educate, and inform the public on cannabis and all it has to offer. Prior to joining Revolution, John helped multiple companies grow and expand their reach, ranging from the tech industry to the world of international football. He is thrilled to be working in a rapidly expanding market, and is proud to represent Illinois patients and cannabis advocates across the globe.