The Advocate: Weekly Cannabis News

Idaho advocates complete first steps for 2020 ballot proposal

This week, the Idaho Cannabis Coalition successfully registered their newest petition that aims to legalize medicinal cannabis.

It’s not their first attempt, with a previous initiative failing in 2018. But with Utah recently legalizing a robust medical marijuana market, and other bordering states, like Oregon, Washington, and Nevada, boasting an adult-use market, lawmakers and local advocates are feeling more hopeful than ever before.

“Our medical marijuana initiative will protect patients and their caregivers from law enforcement prosecution from the safe and effective use of cannabis. We feel it is long past time for the people of Idaho to get on board with the rest of the United States,” told spokesman for ICC Russ Belville to KTVB.

55,057 signatures of registered Idaho voters will need to be filed before April 2020. If successful, the proposal will be included as a simple Yes or No question on voters ballots for the 2020 general election.

As it stands, the proposal would allow for registered patients to posses up to 4 oz. of cannabis, and would not enforce any restrictions relating to consumption methods.

Gov. Pritzker signs historic legislation, making Illinois the 11th state to end prohibition

Governor J.B. Pritzker made history this week by signing The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act into law. The move makes Illinois the 11th state to legalize cannabis for adult use, and the first state to legalize the production and sale of adult-use cannabis through its state legislature rather via a ballot initiative.

“I’m so proud that our state is leading with equity and justice in its approach to cannabis legalization and its regulatory framework,” said Pritzker to a group of reporters.

The signing, which took place at the Sankofa Cultural Arts Center in Chicago, signals as an end to the devastation the War on Drugs have had on the communities and people of Illinois. Now, lawmakers will be tasked with ensuring those communities and people will be proportionately included as the state welcomes a recreational market that could eclipse $2 billion in sales as early as 2020.

Sponsors of the bill are hopeful the legislation will positively impact communities disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs with the inclusion of expungement of minor cannabis offenses, low-interest loan programs for social equity applicants, and a calculated distribution of tax revenue generated by cannabis sales.

Maine lawmakers finalize adult-use regulations

Maine is one step closer to completing its first adult-use cannabis sale.

Last Friday, on the final day of the legislative session before Summer break, lawmakers approved a new set of rules and regulations relating to the adult-use market. Included in the final details is a 10% sales, and excise tax, as well as the removal of wording that limits out-of-state investors from participating in the market. A fund, titled the Local Government Revenue Fund, will distribute tax revenue to communities hosting cannabis facilities or dispensaries – designed to offset the negative effects of local law enforcement and future regulations.

The state is still finalizing the regulatory commission and Govt. oversight committee’s that will be tasked with reviewing and distributing licenses. Those details are expected to come in the coming months, which will push back the initial target date of Jan 1st, 2020.

Missouri now accepting patient applications for MMJ program

This week, officials in Missouri began accepting applications for residents hoping to become patients in the states developing medical marijuana program.

The Show-Me state features some of the lowest-costs associated with a MMJ program – charging residents just $25 to apply. To be approved, patients will need to have a Doctor’s or Physicians recommendation, which must fall under a list of current qualifying conditions that include cancer, Autism, PTSD, chronic pain, and more.

State officials, mainly the DHSS, are still reviewing licenses for dispensaries, cultivation centers, and testing facilities. As of today, St. Louis County and Jackson County lead the state in filed dispensary and cultivation licenses.

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.