The Advocate: Weekly Cannabis News

Nevada’s first cannabis lounge opens this Saturdaywell, sort-of

Nevada-based dispensaries and cultivators have long-awaited social-use and public cannabis consumption regulations, which were initially expected to be released by the state earlier this Spring.

But debate over specific zoning requirements has stalled the process, leaving some business owners with more than 10,000 sq. feet of vacant space.

However, this Saturday, NuWa cannabis will help ring in a “first” for the state – opening the first ever regulated, and ticketed cannabis tasting room in Nevada. Because NuWa is located on Tribal Lands, they do not have to wait for state regulations and can instead work through the Tribe Council.

The experience is created to mimic craft-brew tastings, pairing individual strains with light foods and beverages that neatly pair with their unique cannabinoid profiles. Inside the “tasting center” consumers will have access to smoking and vaporizing devices, and a secure lounge area.

“In Nevada, it is the first,” said Alfreda Mitre, a Paiute Tribe Councilwoman. “So we are looking foreword to providing this experience to our customers.”

Despite widespread legalization, cannabis arrests are climbing in the US

According to new data released by the FBI, there were 663,368 cannabis arrests in the US (in 2018), 3,668 more than 2017’s totals – making it the third consecutive year cannabis-related arrests have risen.

“Police across America make a marijuana-related arrest every 48 seconds,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said in a recent press release. “At a time when the overwhelming majority of Americans want cannabis to be legal and regulated, it is an outrage that many police departments across the country continue to waste tax dollars and limited law enforcement resources on arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for simple marijuana possession.”

Without prioritizing expungement policies and social justice platforms, states appear to be leaving too much gray room for police officers to act in; leading to the continued growth of cannabis-related arrests.

Advocacy in Virginia continues to increase

Support for legalizing an adult-use cannabis market has officially hit the majority, reports local Virginia news outlet Richmond-Times Dispatch.

According to a recent poll conducted by the University of Mary Washington, 61 percent of Virginians are currently in support of an adult-use market – which is nearly a 50% increase of its previous poll conducted in 2017, which showed just 37% of the population supported recreational cannabis.

Immediately following the UMW’s press release, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring tweeted “Virginians know we can do better. It’s time to move toward legal, regulated adult use.”

With the recent increase of support, local media outlets are expecting a serious push for adult-use cannabis in 2020 – and with new elected leaders strongly in support, advocates are hopeful.

‘Disproportionately Impacted Areas’ map released in Illinois

Last year, Illinois’ equity-focused initiative to legalize adult-use cannabis was successful, likely making the Land of Lincoln the first Midwestern state to carryout an adult-use cannabis sale when the program officially begins Jan. 1st, 2020.

Throughout the past few years, reversing the harm caused by the war on drugs has been a common talking point used by pro-cannabis Illinois public officials – who often link the disproportionate numbers associated with cannabis-related arrests, which largely impact minorities (despite historical data that indicates all demographics generally consume cannabis at similar rates.)

Tuesday afternoon, the state released the official map for 75 new dispensaries that fall within “disproportionately impacted”  areas; drawn by high arrest rates, and convictions related to cannabis violations. To qualify, applicants must have a majority ownership of someone who;

• Has an employee base, at least 51 percent of which resides in a disproportionately impacted area or have been arrested or convicted of marijuana possession crimes now eligible for expungement. 

• Has been arrested for, or convicted of, a marijuana possession crime eligible for expungement, or has a family member who has.

• Has resided for at least five of the preceding 10 years in a disproportionately impacted area.

Applications will be accepted December 10th through Jan 2nd.

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.