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Michigan Marijuana is Legal But You Can’t Buy It Anywhere

Michigan Marijuana is Legal But You Can’t Buy It Anywhere

Michigan marijuana is now legal for adults to consume and grow. But where can they buy it?

The answer is nowhere. Michigan marijuana is legal for adults to grow, consume, and even “gift” to one another now. Yet there isn’t a single dispensary plan in place yet.

This may read similar to another article I wrote regarding Massachusetts legalization. They had a similar problem establishing a legal marketplace for consumers. While Massachusetts has finally opened two dispensaries for the entire state after two years of legalization, Michigan is poised to move more quickly.

Michigan Marijuana Laws

While Michigan has legalized cannabis for adult use, I wouldn’t go packing your bag for a vacation to the Great Lakes quite yet. Adults can grow 12 of their own plants (twice as many as Colorado) and possess up to 10 ounces in their homes. There’s a line in Proposition 1 that allows adults to “purchase” recreational cannabis. But there is none to buy.

Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont all did something similar. All these states have legalized cannabis for adults, but have no market to legally purchase cannabis. Basically, because of poorly written laws, these states have given a free pass to private market businesses. 

Not Getting Stuck

The Michigan marijuana market is ahead of the curve, even if just slightly. Proposition 1 included a mandatory deadline for establishing a regulated market.

A year from now, a plan should be approved and in place to begin legal sales of recreational cannabis in Michigan. An additional rider was included that allows people to apply for licensing directly through the municipality. This acts as an assurance that the local governments stay on track.

To elaborate, Massachusetts had no such deadline or rider in place to ensure a timely roll out of a regulated marketplace. Because of this, local municipalities that did not approve of the state’s decision could refuse applications simply on the basis of not wanting legal cannabis in their town.

Michigan’s rider in Proposition 1 will guarantee that local governments don’t stand in the way of legalization. So while Maine’s governor fights legalization tooth and nail, and Vermont has no plans for a legal market yet, Michigan is already planning ahead.

A Big Step For Cannabis

Michigan is the first Midwestern state to legalize cannabis for adult use. Other states in the region will certainly be watching to see how the market turns out.

For now, however, state residents craving some fresh Michigan marijuana will either have to grow it themselves or buy it on the private market. So for now — even though cannabis is legal — unless you’re growing it, you’re still breaking the law in Michigan. Hopefully that changes soon!

Amendment X Explained: Colorado’s hemp laws

Amendment X Explained: Colorado’s hemp laws

Hemp was just voted out of the Colorado constitution. What does this mean for hemp farmers in the state?

When Amendment 64 passed in 2012, Coloradans also voted to add the definition of industrial hemp to the state’s constitution. This in turn required legislators to establish regulations regarding cultivation, processing and distribution. Amendment 64 also resulted in the establishment of the Industrial Hemp Regulatory Program in the state Department of Agriculture.

Amendment X changes this completely.

Amendment X

The constitutional definition of Colorado hemp is very similar to current federal law. The original language defined hemp as, “the plant of the genus cannabis and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration that does not exceed three-tenths percent (.03%) on a dry weight basis.”

The federal definition of industrial hemp is nearly identical to the Colorado hemp laws put in the constitution, but that’s not the main purpose of Amendment X. The goal is to not get left behind.

Keep in mind, the only benefit of the constitutional definition was its protection against federal government, should they change their definition of industrial hemp for the worse, such as lowering the allowable THC limit below .03%.

Keeping Colorado Hemp in the Game

There has been a lot of talk of industrial hemp getting a facelift in the federal law books soon. This could mean the federal definition completely changing, or just being updated. One of the more popular predictions is that the law will change to raise the allowable THC limit to 1% as opposed to the current definition of .03%.

If Coloradans had voted against Amendment X, Colorado hemp would have maintained its constitutional definition, meaning even if the federal government raised the allowable limit to 1%, Colorado hemp farmers would still have to abide by the constitutional law of the state, and maintain .03% or less. This makes the reasons for approving Amendment X rather justified.

What Happens Next?

The people of Colorado have voted to approve Amendment X, taking industrial hemp out of the state constitution, and putting it in line with federal definitions. Should the federal definition change, Colorado laws regarding industrial hemp will change with it. Colorado also has the option to create statutory laws regarding hemp in the state.

This means that Colorado could pass its own law (outside of the constitution) raising the allowable THC limit to 1%. However the state would risk fierce backlash from the federal government, as it would go against federal law. The constitutional definition that is now removed protected Colorado’s hemp farmers from persecution, and some worry now that this decision will open them back up to federal persecution.

What will most likely happen, is not much. Colorado is now in line with most states in the country, and is on par to adjust its definitions as federal law changes. Considering the definition in Colorado’s constitution was the same as the federal definition, there will be little difference noticed by most.

Cannabis Midterm: Here’s who won

Cannabis Midterm: Here’s who won

The 2018 midterm elections allowed citizens to vote on more than just house and senate seats.

On Tuesday November 6, 2018, three states voted to legalize cannabis in some form. Utah and Missouri have both legalize medical marijuana, and Michigan has fully legalized cannabis.

Every state differs greatly on how they set up and run their legal cannabis programs. Some do it very well (e.g. Colorado, Washington), others don’t handle it so well (looking at you Massachusetts and Vermont). That’s why it is important to know each state’s laws, especially if you are a medical or recreational cannabis consumer, as the laws you abide in your home state may be very different across the border.

Utah medical marijuana

everything you need to know about utah medical marijuana

Proposition 2 legalizes medical marijuana for individuals with qualifying conditions. Individuals can receive a Utah medical marijuana card with a recommendation from a physician. Under the measure, an Utah medical marijuana cardholder cannot smoke marijuana or use a device to facilitate the smoking of marijuana.

During any one 14-day period, an individual would be allowed to buy either 2 ounces of unprocessed marijuana or an amount of marijuana product with no more than 10 grams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or Cannabidiol (CBD). Proposition 2 was designed to exempt marijuana from local and state sales taxes. It directs the state legislature to enact business license fees for marijuana business to fund the ongoing costs of the initiative’s implementation.

From the basic spread of the proposition, Utah medical marijuana will have some hurdles up ahead. One of the largest hurdles will be that of the Church of Latter Day Saints, the primary religious sect in the state with strong connection to the state legislature.

While the LDS has already voiced their disapproval of Proposition 2, it wasn’t enough to prevent its passing. So keep an eye out for plenty of attempted roadblocks of Utah medical marijuana by the LDS in the future.

For the full outline of Proposition 2, click here.

Missouri medical marijuana

everything you need to know about missouri medical marijuana

Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment to allow medical cannabis, passed by a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent in Missouri on November 6th.

Under the new law, qualified patients who have approval from their physicians will receive identification cards from the state that will allow them and their registered caregivers to grow up to six marijuana plants and purchase at least four ounces of cannabis from dispensaries on a monthly basis.

Unique to the Missouri medical marijuana program, doctors will be able to recommend medical cannabis for any condition they see fit; there is no specific list of qualifying disorders. Additionally, the state regulators will issue licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as cultivation, testing and infused product manufacturing businesses.

There will be a four percent retail tax on medical cannabis sales, with revenue being earmarked for services for military veterans once implementation and regulations costs are covered. It would seem that Missouri is definitely on the right track with their program. If they can stick to their timeline and work to open up their market, they could be very successful in the future.

For the full outline of Amendment 2, click here.

Michigan legal marijuana

everything you need to know about Michigan legal marijuana

On November 6th, Michigan became the 10th state to fully legalize the sale, possession and consumption of cannabis and cannabis-infused products in the country. This marks a big step for a state that only recently also legalized medical marijuana.

Under Proposal 1, people over 21 can hold up to 2.5 ounces, and store up to 4x that amount. A household (not per person) can grow up to 12 plants for personal use. The sale of Michigan legal marijuana will be taxed at the state sales tax of 6%, plus an additional 10% marijuana tax.

These taxes when put in place are expected to bring in anywhere from $100-200 million for schools, roads and public service programs. With an infrastructure already established through the Michigan medical marijuana program, it should be a smooth transition into the legal market.

Michigan has even put safeguards in place as to avoid mistakes similar to that of Massachusetts, where cannabis has been legal for two years but there is not a single dispensary open due to government pushback. Michigan has combatted this issue preemptively by including a 12-month window in which the government is to set up their system and begin accepting applications.

Should the government drag its feet for 12 months, applicants can then begin to apply directly to their municipality, and avert the state all together. This means in 12 months, regardless of how much pushback or knuckle dragging Michigan legal marijuana may endure, applications will start coming in, and the Michigan legal marijuana industry will begin its implementation.

For the full outline of Proposal 1, click here.

There are a couple other states that voted on cannabis-related measures in the midterm as well, including Colorado and Florida. Check out the new Real Dirt Harvest Special to hear all about Amendment X in Colorado.

Canada Cannabis Packaging Problems

Canada Cannabis Packaging Problems

Canada cannabis legalization is already facing some problems. One is the amount of plastic packaging.

For every gram of Canada cannabis sold there can be as much as 70 grams of packaging waste, according to some of Canada’s first cannabis customers.

The amount of plastic, cardboard, foil and wrap that’s being used to package and market cannabis seems excessive to many.

“It’s really shameful,” said Remi Robichaud of Moncton. “Being a coastal province, they should do something about the amount of plastic that goes into our ocean.”

Canada cannabis packaging excess

Robichaud says a friend of his used a food scale to compare the weight of a gram of cannabis purchased at Cannabis NB to the 70 grams worth of plastic, foil, and packaging that it came in.

“Seeing the amount of plastic being used for such small quantities, it’s really shameful.”

In Nova Scotia, the issue is similar, according to Greg Mac who purchased his cannabis from an NSLC store.

“I think the packaging is pretty excessive,” said Mac.

“Look at what comes with one gram of weed — you’ve got a cardboard box that comes in a bottle. That bottle is sealed with more plastic. And you open it up and see how much weed actually comes in the bottle and you think “Wow, there’s a lot that’s going on there.”

Mac purchased four grams of cannabis then shared a photo online of the excess plastic bottles, wrappings and cardboard that was used to package it.

That photo was shared hundreds of times resulting in many voicing their displeasure with what they consider to be excessive plastic packaging.

“I’ve been buying from medical dispensaries for two years now,” said Mac. “And all I ever get is Ziploc bags of different variations. And that’s always been pretty good for me.”

Packaging mandate

On its website, Health Canada mandates that Canada cannabis “be packaged in an immediate container that is tamper-evident, child-resistant, prevents contamination and keeps cannabis dry.”

It also states that “regulations would require that the immediate container be opaque or translucent. Products could have both an inner and outer package, but every package would need to be labelled in accordance with the proposed requirements.”

It also states that each order of cannabis include an informational document developed by Health Canada that includes health and safety information.

​Robichaud argues cannabis packaging could be made of glass, instead of plastic, and reused, similar to how craft beer producers use “growlers, “or glass jugs that can be refilled with beer.

Mac agrees and says being able to bring back enough plastic bottles for a discount of their next purchase would be smart in an age where companies and governments around the world have pledged to reduce their own plastic waste and even ban the plastic straw.

“It’ll give somebody an incentive and is the smart way to go about it,” said Mac.

Read the original story on CBC News.

Check out our Canadian Cannabis Legalization Guide!

Canada Legalization Guide: Things to know

Canada Legalization Guide: Things to know

It’s October 17th. Canadian cannabis is now fully legal. And it’s a big deal.

What makes the legalization of Canadian cannabis so important is that Canada hasn’t just decriminalized cannabis like some states in the US and other countries. They fully legalized it.

That makes Canada the second country in the world (behind Uruguay) and the first G7 country to legalize the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis.

Being a first-world country with a very large economy, it’s fair to say that all eyes will be on the nation up north to determine the viability of widespread cannabis legalization. While big business and governments are watching for success, we the people get to enjoy legal, Canadian cannabis anytime we visit the Great White North.

But before you grab your jacket and head to Ontario, here’s the essential information to know about Canadian cannabis legalization.

Where to buy legal Canadian cannabis

Each province in Canada is different when it comes to how cannabis will be sold. In some, consumers can only buy their cannabis from the government through an online store. Other provinces will have privately owned and operated dispensaries opening their doors to Canadian cannabis lovers.

For now, it would appear that most cannabis sales starting out will be through the government. Quebec now has 12 government-run dispensaries open, with government employees taking up the positions of budtenders. Saskatchewan will have 51 privately owned stores, and Alberta will have 17 as well as online sales through the government.

What’s the legal age for Canadian cannabis?

In the majority of provinces the legal age for cannabis consumption is 19. Quebec has their current legal age at 18, but will most likely raise the age to 21 in the near future.

Just like alcohol, supplying cannabis to minors carries a heavy offense, with up to 14 years in Canadian prison.

How much can I buy?

This one is simple enough. Country-wide, Canadian cannabis consumers will be allowed up to 30 grams (just over an ounce) of legal cannabis. Since Canada will not be allowing the sale of edibles or concentrates for another year, there is no need for a policy like that of Colorado.

Colorado’s policy allows consumers to purchase one ounce of flower per day, or the THC equivalent. That means that instead of an ounce of flower, a Colorado consumer could instead get 8 grams of concentrates or 800mg of edibles, roughly the equivalent THC of an ounce of dry flower.

Where can I smoke?

Similarly to how age limits in provinces are set, so are the local laws regarding consumption of Canadian cannabis. Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta will allow people to smoke cannabis wherever cigarette smoking is allowed. This makes streets and parks fair game in Ontario, but British Columbia has blocked smoking in parks or community beaches.

Halifax will actually have designated smoking areas on municipal properties that consumers can find through a Google Maps-esque website with green smoking signs signifying the safe zones. While there aren’t any legal cannabis clubs for social consumption, there have been many operating in the black market for years.

Vancouver and Toronto are a couple of Canadian cities known to have thriving cannabis cafes and lounges that fly under the radar. So for most, the enjoyment of legal Canadian cannabis will be at home or a friend’s in a private setting.

If you live in Canada, there’s more to know about growing you own cannabis, driving high and criminal records that you should read up on. And while you enjoy that tasty, legal, Canadian cannabis, tune into the new episode of The Real Dirt Podcast!

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE

Refugee Squirrels Wreak Havoc on Cannabis Farmers

Refugee Squirrels Wreak Havoc on Cannabis Farmers

400,000 acres burned in California this year from wildfires. In those fires, squirrels lost their nuts.

Hundreds of thousands of refugee squirrels have made their way up north from Southern California to escape the fires, finding new homes in the many cannabis farms in the area. As funny as it sounds, it’s bad.

What these squirrels do is nothing short of murder…plant murder.

The refugee squirrels problem

While most are happy that the squirrels are safe from danger now, many aren’t so thrilled with where they have taken up. Mainly on cannabis farms.

Climbing on the plants, breaking off branches when they climb, and even chewing on the cannabis plants is making the  refugee squirrels a not-so-welcome guest in the Emerald Triangle. But this is a new problem, with no well-known solution.

This is where the problem comes in. Mites, aphids or other small critters are easy enough to deal with, every grower has to deal with them at some point. But no grower has ever really had to deal with squirrels, let alone so many.

Desperate times

Farmers in NorCal have resorted to pellet guns and small arms in so instances to eradicate the squirrels. There are still too many refugee squirrels to get rid of them all.

Compared to other small rodents growers might have to deal with, the sheer amount of squirrels sent there by the forest fires is too much for most to handle. Some have lost their entire crop to the influx of squirrels.

It’s rough in the Emerald Triangle right now. Nut-starved, weed-hungry squirrels are wreaking havoc on farmers all over, and a lot are still trying to figure out how to deal with them.

Will there be a war? Who knows. Maybe the squirrels will realize they like nugs more than nuts. Let’s hope not.

Hear more on the new episode of The Real Dirt! Part 3 of the Harvest Special addresses the squirrel issue, talks trimming and more.

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