Marijuana legal for more than half of Americans after election win and More

In the days of the Armada, a fleet of warships, the scuttlebutt was the rumor or gossip that would spread throughout the ship. Today, Armada Law Corp presents The Scuttlebutt, a daily summery of news articles that people within the cannabis, hemp and plant medicine industries are chatting about along with links to the full articles.

In today’s news:

OCM: October inspections of unlicensed shops yield $6.2 million in cannabis seizures

#cannabisindustry – “Inspections of shops in October led to the seizure of an estimated $6.2 million worth of unlicensed cannabis, according to the state Office of Cannabis Management.

The OCM and Department of Taxation and Finance conducted inspections of 47 shops “suspected of selling unlicensed cannabis,” according to an OCM press release, throughout October. All told, they seized nearly 1,400 pounds of cannabis in various forms.

In total, 289 locations have now been inspected in New York, with the amount of seized unlicensed cannabis valued at nearly $50 million, according to OCM….”

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Labor Peace Agreement Mandate Challenged in Federal Court

#cannabisregulation – “States legalizing cannabis are increasingly requiring that cannabis licensees enter agreements allowing unions access to their employees for organization activities.  Some states go even further, not only requiring a labor peace agreement (LPA), but that employees agree on the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) soon after licensure.  As we previously reported, such requirements are especially prevalent along the East Coast, with varying labor requirements imposed by New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, and Connecticut, as well as California.

Labor lawyers and experts have long questioned the legality of state labor mandates depriving employees of the right to determine whether and with whom to organize by imposing mandates that effectively require cannabis employers to have union workforces.  But so far, licensees have been reluctant to challenge these requirements and raise the ire of regulators and powerful unions.

The day of reckoning for LPA requirements may be approaching.  Rhode Island’s Cannabis Act (Cannabis Act), enacted in 2022 as part of its adult use authorization requires adult use cannabis providers to enter LPAs with unions as a condition of state licensure.  Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center, a Rhode Island cannabis dispensary is challenging Rhode Island’s LPA mandate in federal court in Rhode Island, arguing that the Cannabis Act violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by effectively stripping Greenleaf of its bargaining power because Rhode Island law requires unionization to sell adult use cannabis….”

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Introducing psychedelics to end-of-life mental healthcare

#psychedelics – “Early evidence suggests psychedelics could help alleviate end-of-life anxiety and depression. Yet there has been little study or discussion of their integration into hospice and palliative care settings, where patients often have complex comorbidities and medication regimens. The authors discuss relevant clinical challenges and approaches.

Fla. Justices Split On Legal Pot Measure’s Wording

#cannabispolitics – “The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared split on whether the summary language for a proposed ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana via a constitutional amendment was misleading or violated the state’s requirements for such initiatives to stick to one subject.

The battle over the legalization measure, which activists are trying to put on the 2024 general election ballot, has largely pivoted on discussion of the state’s single-subject rule which holds that a ballot measure cannot ask voters to weigh in on more than one topic in a single vote.

During oral arguments on Wednesday, Justice Charles Canady expressed skepticism with the arguments advanced by counsel for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which has said that the measure violates single-subject requirements by both legalizing personal use and possession of cannabis and by containing prongs about regulating its commercial sale.

Justice Canady said the chamber’s argument would turn the single-subject requirement into “a straitjacket on the people,” by critically hampering any citizen-led effort to amend Florida’s constitution by ballot measure….”

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Support for US marijuana legalization at an all-time high, Gallup poll shows

#cannabispolitics – “Seven in 10 Americans support marijuana legalization, according to a new Gallup poll – an all-time high since the Washington DC-based analytics and advisory company began polling on the topic in 1969.

In that first poll, only 12% of respondents supported marijuana reform.

Support for marijuana legalization plateaued at 68% for the past three years.

By contrast, in 2013, more than half of respondents said they supported marijuana legalization.

The steady increase in support for cannabis reform aligns with the growth in self-reported use of marijuana….”

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Ohio Legalizes Recreational Marijuana: What’s Next For Taxpayers, Consumers And Business Owners

#cannabisindustry – “Lucas McCann, co-founder and chief scientific officer at cannabis consulting firm CannDelta Inc., hailed the results of Tuesday’s election when the passage of Issue 2 became apparent.

“This step towards cannabis legalization signifies a progressive shift and the beginning of a chapter for the state, reflecting the shifting perceptions of cannabis across America,” McCann said in a statement about the marijuana legalization vote. “Ohioans will soon see a bolstered state economy, increased job opportunities, and tax revenue that can be reinvested in Ohio’s aging infrastructure like schools and hospitals.””

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Marijuana legal for more than half of Americans after election win

#cannabispolitics – “More than half of Americans reside in states where marijuana will be legal after Ohio voters approved a measure to allow recreational marijuana use.

The big picture: Ohio became the 24th state to allow adult cannabis use for nonmedical purposes with nearly 57% voting for the ballot initiative Tuesday, according to the state’s unofficial election results.

  • Medicinal use is legal in 38 states.

Why it matters: Seven in 10 Americans think marijuana use should be legal, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday of 1,009 adults…..”

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Cannabis Use Linked to Enhanced Empathy

#cannabisresearch – “A new study suggests regular cannabis users may have a heightened ability to understand others’ emotions. Psychological assessments coupled with brain imaging revealed that users show stronger connectivity in brain regions associated with empathy. The research, involving 136 participants, could have implications for treating social interaction deficits….”

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As legislative solutions continue to stall, multistate cannabis operators opt for litigation

#cannabislawsuit – “As in previous years, 2023 began with the promise of possible cannabis reform at the federal level, with the SAFE Banking Act being reintroduced in Congress once again (now rebranded as the SAFER Banking Act, after revisions). Unlike previous years, there was even serious talk of re-scheduling Cannabis to Schedule II — or possibly even Schedule III — of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), after President Biden’s direction to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) to re-evaluate the placement of cannabis on Schedule I. But, as 2023 draws to a close, neither effort appears to be anywhere near the finish line.

Now, under pressure from economic headwinds facing the industry, the largest cannabis companies — known as multi-state operators or “MSOs” — appear to be embracing litigation as a viable alternative strategy for federal cannabis reform.

The latest broadside was launched by Verano Holdings Corp — a publicly traded cannabis company that is currently trading at approximately 15% of its all-time high — in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in a lawsuit against the U.S. government, broadly challenging the constitutionality of the CSA under the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clauses, and on Due Process grounds….”

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Top Five Countries to Watch for International Cannabis Reform in 2024

#Cannabisindustry – “While the cannabis industry in the United States awaits a marijuana scheduling decision from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), many countries around the world continue to move forward with liberalizing their cannabis policies as a superior method of promoting the health and welfare of their citizens.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at five countries poised to make waves in the cannabis landscape in 2024, including Germany, Thailand, Colombia, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland….”

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