The Advocate: Weekly Cannabis News

Illinois Senate approves adult-use bill

Wednesday night, the Illinois Senate voted to approve an adult-use market in a 38 to 17 vote, sending the Cannabis & Regulation Tax Act to the House.

The final proposal lets residents 21 & older posses up to 30 grams of cannabis and 5 grams of concentrate, and will allow for medical patients to cultivate up to five flowering plants within their own homes.

In response to the Senate’s approval, Gov. Pritzker released an immediate press release, stating “Illinois is poised to become the first state in the nation that put equity and criminal justice reform at the heart of its approach to legalizing cannabis, and I’m grateful that the Senate has taken this important step with a bipartisan vote.”

Grant programs, like Restoring Our Communities, will be used to reinvest in areas that have been most impacted by the War on Drugs. Other social equity pieces of the bill include a $20 million low-interest loan program that will be used for businesses with minority ownership, and automatic expungement processes for residents with possession convictions of up to 30 grams.

With the legislative session soon coming to an end, the House is expected to act quickly. If approved, lawmakers expect the first-sale of adult-use cannabis in Illinois to take place as early as January 1, 2020.

Delivery services & tasting rooms coming to Colorado

This week, Gov. Jared Polis singed multiple measures that aim to expand Colorado’s social-use and cannabis delivery market.

By making an amendment to the Colorado Clean Air Act, HB19-1230 establishes licensing and regulations for “hospitality establishments”, giving dispensaries the opportunity to apply for licensing that would grant them the ability to provide a separate environment for consumers to smoke and lounge in. These areas will have to meet a load of requirements that come with lofty application fees; still, state lawmakers expect the new service could generate more than $10 million in new tax revenue by 2020.

Colorado is now the third state to allow local communities to craft their own separate rules & regulations surrounding social-use and open-consumption, following in the footsteps of California and Alaska.

More adults turning to cannabis, says new study

A new study published in the monthly journal Drugs & Aging has revealed a significant increase of older-aged adults medicating with cannabis.

Led by researchers at Colorado’s School of Medicine, the study surveyed and analyzed 136 people over the age of 60, for two years, monitoring their cannabis usage and comparing it to other age groups. After two years, a 100% increase of “people who regularly consume cannabis” was reported.

The rapid increase of adults using cannabis can likely be attributed to a simple law change. On Nov. 6, when the study was first beginning, the state of Colorado legalized adult-use cannabis – broadly expanding legal access to a variety of high-quality cannabis-infused products.

“Older adults who use marijuana are ingesting it in a variety of ways for multiple purposes. This and other papers from the same project show growing acceptance of marijuana use for medical purposes by older adults, and a clear desire to have their primary health providers involved in educating them about options and risks,” said Professor Sara Honn Qualls, co-author of the study.

Missouri officials release finalized regulations for MMJ program

This week, regulators in Missouri issued the final set of rules for the state’s Medical Marijuana Program (well, sort-of).

The newest set of rules and regulations will immediately take effect, but can potentially be revised or changed next February, after officials have received feedback from stakeholders & interested applicants.

Current details suggest that the state will approve of a minimum of 60 cultivators, 192 dispensaries, and 86 facilities that produce infused-cannabis products by Dec. 31st. Hopeful applicants will be able to apply for new licenses between Aug. 3-17, and patient applications are set to open as early as July 4th.

With a diverse, robust market developing, economic experts are forecasting the state to generate more than $20 million per year in new tax revenues, with sales expected to top $100 million by 2025.

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.