The Weekly Dispense: Free joints on Inauguration Day

With a new year comes new opportunities – and this is certainly true in the cannabis space. A leading cannabis research group compares the legal cannabis industry to the internet boom of the 2000s, Vermont pardons nearly 200 people with cannabis convictions, and a D.C. cannabis advocacy group describes plans to light up on Inauguration Day.

In case you missed them, here are the cannabis-related stories that caught our attention.

Texas County DA: no jail for minor cannabis offenses

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg shared some promising words about cannabis during her recent inauguration. Misdemeanor possession of cannabis cases will be diverted around jail, she said. “I’ve never felt good about putting marijuana users in the same jail cells as murderers. It’s just not fair, it doesn’t make any sense, and our country is resoundingly against that,” she said, according to CW39.

Read more District Attorney Kim Ogg: No jail for marijuana misdemeanors

Cannabis – the new internet?

Just as broadband internet took off in the 2000s, the legal cannabis industry is booming – giving analysts reason to find parallels between the two industries. The North American cannabis market boasted $6.7 billion in revenue in 2016, up 30% from the year before, data show. Tom Adams, editor in chief of Arcview Market Research, says the cannabis industry reminds him “of a time when dial-up internet gave way to broadband, which delivered faster, ‘always on’ internet access,” reports Business Insider.

Read more The legal weed market is growing as fast as broadband internet in the 2000s

Free joints on Capitol Hill

The DC Cannabis Coalition has announced plans to provide free joints of cannabis on Inauguration Day. While cannabis for adult use is legal in D.C., sparking up in public is not. The demonstration is meant to show support for the federal legalization of cannabis, event organizers say.

Read more Free marijuana to be handed out Inauguration Day

Vermont pardons some cannabis offenders

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin pardoned nearly 200 people convicted of cannabis possession as one of his last acts in office. “Vermont should follow the many states that are legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana and put to an end the incredible failure that is the War on Drugs,” Shumlin said.

Read more Vermont Governor Pardons 192 for Marijuana Convictions

Cassandra Dowell

Cassandra oversees communications for Revolution Enterprises, a company committed to cultivating health through the science of cannabis. Prior to joining Revolution, Cassandra covered complex financial transactions and business trends within the cannabis and healthcare industries. During her time as a Chicagoland newspaper editor, she received more than 10 Illinois Press Association and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards for her coverage of mental health and housing issues.