Governor Mark Dayton has signed a bill making Minnesota the 22nd state to provide protection from arrest and prosecution for adults who use cannabis products as medicine. The state’s law is the first to prevent patients from accessing the raw marijuana plant and the first to forbid any smoking of marijuana. Patients will only be able to use pills, vaporized oil, and oil extracts with a doctor’s recommendation. The law establishes two manufacturers and eight dispensaries statewide. We’ll bring you more details about the Minnesota medical marijuana program in our Behind the Headlines segment.
Hoping to push the Assembly and Senate to compromise and make New York the 23rd medical marijuana state, the Marijuana Policy Project has released two television ads directed at state officials. In the first ad, MPP focuses on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who prefers an unworkable plan to use a dormant 1980 law to create research studies of medical cannabis. In the second ad, MPP focuses on the Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos.
Lawmakers in Delaware have proposed making legal the personal possession and use of up to one ounce of marijuana in private. Democrat Rep. Helene Keeley’s bill would amend Delaware law so that “no penalty may be imposed upon a person 21 years of age or older” who possesses an ounce or less, except for a civil infraction and $100 fine for using cannabis in a public place. Current Delaware law treats possession of an ounce or less as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,150. Selling, trafficking, and growing marijuana will still remain crimes, begging the question whether Delaware is proposing the either the weakest legalization law or the strongest decriminalization law.
Officials at the Denver Airport claim their ban on marijuana is working. Since the airport began banning marijuana in January, officials say just ten people have been stopped by TSA for trying to bring marijuana through security. None of those caught were cited and all cooperated with police and disposed of their marijuana. Denver City Councilman Christopher Herndon told the Denver Post, “It seems people are complying.” Airport officials estimate some 25 million passengers will travel through the airport in the first six month of this year. However, nobody will offer any estimates of how many passengers have just successfully brought marijuana with them through the airport without TSA noticing.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has halted the trade of eight cannabusiness stocks on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board. These stocks, commonly called “penny stocks” sold on the “pink sheets”, have tumbled. The 420 Marijuana Index, an analysis of popular cannabusiness stock, has dropped 62 percent versus its peak value in March. Analysts say the “pot-com bubble” that inflated beginning in January on the news of Colorado’s recreational market legalization has deflated. The SEC halted trade in stocks like GrowLife, Advanced Cannabis Solutions, and CannaVest, issuing warnings about “manipulative transactions” and “unlawful distribution of securities.” GrowLife is down 88 percent since March. CannaVest once traded at $201 and is now sitting at less than $19 a share. Vape Holdings has dropped from $41.25 down to $1.87 per share.