Gov. Rick Scott of Florida has signed legislation making his state the ninth to allow the use of cannabidiol oil for medical purposes. Gov. Scott said in a statement that as a “father and grandfather, you never want to see kids suffer,” and that this CBD-only bill will get children the “medication needed to improve their quality of life.” CBD oil will only be available for the treatment of cancer and epilepsy and unlike other CBD-only states, Florida will have approved producers allowed to grow strains of less-than 0.8% THC and greater-than 10% CBD. The Republican senators who pushed the so-called “Charlotte’s Web” bill into law expressed hope it would derail the November vote for a whole-plant medical marijuana constitutional amendment, with one saying, “I hope passage of the [Charlotte’s Web bill] shows people we’ve done the responsible thing and that legalizing euphoric marijuana for functionally recreational purposes would be unnecessary and undesirable.”
Burglaries and robberies at marijuana shops in Denver are down a quarter since 2012. According to the city Safety Department, Denver suffered 173 such burglaries and robberies in 2012 and 151 occurred in 2013. The city is currently on pace for 130 by year’s end, which would be a reduction of over 25% in two years and almost 14% from last year. These reductions coincide with and exceed overall reductions in property crime in Denver, where there were 1,789 burglaries and robberies from January through April, down almost 5% from the same period in 2013. These crime figures declined despite the continued difficulty dispensaries and pot shops have in securing banking services, leaving them as all-cash businesses that are more attractive for burglary and robbery.
New Approach Oregon announced today they have surpassed 100,000 signatures in their push to put marijuana legalization on the November ballot. On Thursday, the group turned in 83,500 to the Secretary of State and in a press release today announced the 100,000 figure. The initiative needs 87,213 valid signatures before July 3rd and New Approach Oregon has paid signature gatherers continuing to canvass in order to make sure the goal is reached after invalid signatures are disqualified. According to the campaign, over 10,000 Oregonians a year are arrested for marijuana. New Approach Oregon has spent over $620,000 on the campaign so far and just received donations of $250,000 and $150,000 in the past week. The legalization initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess eight ounces and grow four plants; create a system of growers, producers, and retailers each requiring a $1,250 fee and license; and mandate a strict cap of $1.25 per gram in taxation.
Show-Me Cannabis in Missouri has erected a huge billboard in support of medical marijuana. The billboard features a picture of Daryl Bertrand, who suffers from degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis, and his wife, with the title “Cannabis saved his life. Prohibition ruined theirs. Help Missouri patients get access. Text MED to 420420. Med4mo.com.” Daryl had been caught growing 47 marijuana plants after he could no longer take prescription painkillers without destroying his liver. He and his wife received years of probation and lost their playground equipment business over the charges. Since his arrest, Daryl uses no cannabis and deals with constant pain. “I’m totally miserable,” he told the Springfield News-Leader, and is helping Show-Me Cannabis fight for a medical marijuana initiative in 2016.
New Mexico’s Gov. Susanna Martinez is proposing changes to the medical marijuana program that have patient advocates protesting. Under the changes, patients would for the first time be subject to a fee to register for medical marijuana. New Mexico’s registry has been free, but soon patients may have to pay $50 to register. Patients registered to grow their own medical marijuana would be reduced from a limit of sixteen plants to just eight, and would be subject to criminal background checks they must fund out of pocket. Non-Profit Producers would be allowed to triple their plant counts from 150 to 450, but the annual fees would triple, too, from $30,000 to $90,000. Twelve new producers would be added to the current 23, but they will be subject to an application fee that rises from $1,000 to $10,000. One medical marijuana producer explained, “If your intent is to kill the New Mexico medical cannabis program, these proposed … rules will do just that.”