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By Greg Zeman

There was a time not so long ago when 420 was a legitimately secret code — not entirely top secret, but still “secret-ish” in the way that widespread inside jokes could be before the internet effectively revealed most of these half secrets.

But when 420 was still semi-concealed from the mainstream consciousness, even those who knew the secret code mostly had no idea why they were smoking at 20 minutes past 4 o’clock or on that day in mid-April. Few people outside of San Rafael, California had ever heard of “The Waldos,” the true originators of the 420 holiday, so even if a person did have some vague idea about the origins of 420, it was generally wrong.

However, irrespective of their relativ...

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By Jimi Devine

A new alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed doctors to watch out for patients suffering from unexplained bleeding, as they might be additional cases in a nationwide spike in illnesses related to substances marketed as synthetic marijuana.

According to the Associated Press, “fake marijuana” likely contaminated with rat poison has already killed three people in Illinois and made over 100 people sick. The CDC has been trying to help officials in Illinois figure out what’s going on. The outbreak — which began in early March — has reached a total of at least 118 cases in Illinois, with others being reported across the country.

Both the sickened people and the synthetic sub...

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By Jimi Devine

With California and Nevada’s recreational markets fully online this year, more folks than ever are expected to take part in the cannabis holiday.

The 420 holiday, which dates back to decades before any real progress was seen on marijuana law reform, was started by The Waldos at San Rafael High School, just north of San Francisco. The celebration of “420” then made its way to the parking lots of Grateful Dead tours in the 1980s, and now is making annual appearances in bank accounts across the cannabis industry.

According to MJ Freeway, the statistics from last year supports the building excitement for this year’s 420. Their widely accepted data in Colorado shows over $37.5 million in sales on April 20, ...

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By A.J. Herrington

Almost 1,000 California cannabis businesses could be forced to close after receiving warnings from state regulators. The state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has sent cease and desist letters or emails to 954 firms as of April 4, according to media reports. That number is up from the more than 500 threats of action from the BCC reported just over a month ago.

California’s legal marijuana economy began on January 1 of this year after voters passed Prop 64 in 2016. The state subsequently formed the BCC to regulate all cannabis businesses in the state. All commercial cannabis companies must obtain a license from the state in order to operate legally.

Warnings Sent to Firms Up and Down the Golden StateMost of ...

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By Nick Lindsey

The question of how employers will handle drug tests grows more complicated as cannabis becomes legal in more places. This is especially true in Canada right now, as full legalization is on the immediate horizon. Most recently, as a man fired for smoking weed gets his job back with bonus compensation in Thunder Bay, Ontario, many of these questions are coming into better focus.

In October 2017, two workers at Bombardier Transportation were fired after a supervisor said he saw them smoking weed at work. More specifically, the supervisor said he saw the men taking their afternoon break outdoors. He said he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from their direction and saw smoke.

Further, the supervisor said that when he ap...

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By Greg Zeman

It should go without saying that the federal government is no friend to legal cannabis.

Since the late 1970s, when the nation’s first medical cannabis law was passed by the New Mexico state legislature, the feds have been pushing back against state-level decriminalization through every government agency available, from the DOJ and FBI to the NIDA and FDA. Then of course, there’s that crucial but often overlooked ingredient in the scalding hot alphabet soup the feds force feed state-level decriminalization efforts: the IRS.

Nobody loves the IRS — this isn’t exactly a cannabis industry thing — but most industries see the agency’s existence as a necessary evil. Then again, for most industries, ...

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By Burgess Powell

This week, a California city lowers its sales tax on recreational cannabis to compete with the black market. Officials in Berkeley, California argue that tax-abiding marijuana dispensaries aren’t able to offer the same low pricing as black market dealers due to the state’s heavy tax program.

The tax on recreational marijuana went from 10 percent to 5 percent this week. This tax reduction is only on the city-level. Including state taxes, the total tax on marijuana in Berkeley will be 30 percent. While this might seem high, it’s actually one of the lowest tax rates in the country.

California law mandates that cannabis consumers pay a city tax, sales tax, cultivation tax and state excise tax. In some places,...

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By A.J. Herrington

During the last day of the 2018 legislative session that lasted well into the night, Georgia moves forward with medical marijuana program expansion for patients.

Last night the Georgia Senate approved an amended version of House Bill 65 (HB 65). That bill would add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and intractable pain to the list of conditions approved for treatment with medical cannabis. Until yesterday, Senate leadership had refused to act on the bill passed by the House.

The Expansion…And The DramaHouse Rep. David Clark is a Republican from Buford and supporter of House Bill 65. He is also a former Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan. Before Thursday’s vote, he chastised President of the Senate Case...

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By Burgess Powell

Just because weed will be legal in Canada by the end of the summer doesn’t mean that discrimination against the herb is over. Last week, Health Canada introduced packaging and sponsorship restrictions on recreational marijuana. A Canadian advocacy group criticizes marijuana packaging restrictions that limit consumer choice and awareness, and potentially threaten the legal weed market.

Though you’ll be able to buy weed in metro stations, you may not be able to tell brands and types of Mary J apart if the government approves these regulations.

Health Canada wants pot packaging to be as unappealing as possible. Bill C-45, which will legalize recreational marijuana, prevents cannabis companies from providing custom...

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By Bill Weinberg

Over the past generation, the global “war on drugs” — overwhelmingly pursued with U.S. foreign aid money and under Pentagon direction — has militarized Colombia and escalated violence in the country. But now, amid a peace process with the guerillas, the country is increasingly looking to legal cannabis as a way out of its long crisis. Paradoxically, it could trade on its notorious reputation as marijuana producer to become a global leader in the burgeoning legal industry.

This was the clear portrayal in a glowing March 10 story in the Washington Post, where reporter Anthony Faiola wrote, “Colombia is looking to exchange gun-toting traffickers for corporate backers in a bid to become the Saudi ...

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