Oct 202014

Health officials in Colorado are calling for what is nearly a full ban on retail marijuana edibles in the state, just 10 months after the first recreational sales of marijuana began.  “Prohibit the production of retail edible marijuana products other than a simple lozenge/hard candy or tinctures that are plainly labeled using universal symbol(s) and that users can add to their products at home,” Colorado Health Department officials wrote in their recommendation, obtained by The Huffington Post. “Hard candy/lozenges would be manufactured in single 10 mg doses/lozenges and tinctures would be produced and labeled with dosing instructions, such as two drops equals 10 mg.”  The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, which oversees the state’s marijuana industry including sales of edibles, will make the final rules based on the recommendations from the working group and state lawmakers after the 2015 legislative session.

Florida’s “People United for Medical Marijuana,” raised over a half million dollars last week to promote their proposed constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 2, that would legalize medical marijuana.  In all, People United for Medical Marijuana had raised $5,112,817 and received $1,924,989 in loans, while spending $5,962,135 as of Oct. 10. Much of the spending was needed to gather petition signatures to get on the ballot.  The ballot initiative has run into well-funded opposition from a political committee known as the “Drug Free Florida Committee,” which had raised about $4.74 million as of Oct. 10.

North Texans in support of medical and recreational use of marijuana took to the streets in Dallas Saturday for a cannabis rally.  Nearly five thousand people were in attendance to help bring awareness to marijuana law reform efforts in Texas.  Organizers for the event said the march allows people to come together and actively further the discussion about marijuana in the state.  “That’s what I’m concerned with is getting sick people who are dying a chance to improve the quality of their life by ingesting some cannabis, said demonstrator Shaun McAlister.”  McAlister also argued that weed can be taxed and regulated.  The group says their primary focus now is supporting the medical use of marijuana in Texas.  Demonstrators believe once that is accomplished they can begin to push towards the full legalization of marijuana in the state.

A maker of breathalyzers used to detect blood alcohol has landed at $250,000 grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development to develop a similar instrument to assess THC impairment. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.  The grant, which requires matching funds from the company, will allow Lifeloc Technologies to speed development of a tool that will be marketed to law enforcement, corrections, schools and workplaces.  “There is no equivalent of a marijuana breathalyzer today. Law enforcement does not have a fast, reliable and non-invasive THC impairment test available at roadside,” Lifeloc president Barry Knott said in a statement.  The grant flows through the Colorado Advanced Industries Accelerator Program. Lifeloc, which is traded over the counter, makes evidential breath alcohol testers for use by law enforcement and the workplace.

Last week we learned the two pot shops in Vancouver, Washington across the border in Portland, Oregon sell the most marijuana in the state.  Today we learn that after three months of being legal, Spokane County has racked up $3.6 million in sales out of statewide sales totaling $14 million, much of it from bordering Idaho.  “Idahoans, they come in for a quick stop,” Logan McDermott, a Spokane pot retailer told KHQ-TV. “[Idahoans] make up about 25 percent of our clientele.”  McDermott said nearly 100 people do business at his shop each day.  “We kind of got the snowball effect,” said McDermott. “It keeps building, and we’re getting bigger and bigger.”

Uruguay is struggling to roll out the commercial production and sale of marijuana and its ground-breaking experiment could be dropped or watered down if an opposition candidate wins this month’s presidential election.  Uruguay needs to work out how to ensure criminal gangs do not finance producers, how to regulate the supply and quality of locally produced marijuana, and how to satisfy neighboring states that legally grown dope will not be sold illegally on their streets.  The government has missed its own deadlines in implementing the changes that were passed into law last December.  The plan to start selling marijuana in pharmacies late this year looks unlikely as the government is still tendering cultivation licenses and identifying where seeds can be purchased from.  Given the delays, leftist President Jose Mujica now faces a race against time to push through the changes before the country’s next leader takes office in March.