Good afternoon everyone! It is time for the top 5 cannabis news stories of the week. I hope everyone has great plans for this last weekend of Spring! The cannabis industry continues its slow plod forward of course. We have a lot of state news this week. Nevada keeps leading the pack in terms of marijuana reform. Delaware is awfully close to making it happen and Colorado has hit a major milestone. I start though with the epic fail in Connecticut…

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Connecticut Learned Bad Lessons from New York and New Jersey

Northampton Massachusetts will continue to be a destination for Connecticut marijuana consumers after their state failed to legalize weed.
Northampton, MA

You know, my overall impression has always been that the Northeast is full of relatively intelligent people. I still think that Massachusetts is pretty smart. They will have ended up getting their commercial market up and running many years before any of the other states up in that corner of the country has their act together. I was sure Connecticut was going to get it done. Sure of it! Governor Ned Lamont is all about legalizing weed and the people of the state want it too. Their residents are just a hop skip and jump away from copious amounts of weed in Northampton, MA. That town has always been a popular destination for Connecticut residents anyways, and now it’s overrun with Connecticut cannabis consumers. Shop owners should expect solid Connecticut business to continue after Connecticut legislators just couldn’t agree on details for its new cannabis law. Supposedly legislators really do want to legalize weed but let the legislative session end before they could finalize anything. That means they won’t even be bringing it up again until next year! They have gone the way of New Jersey and New York while Illinois got weed legalized in a snap. Come on Ned, you just going to let J.B. show you up like that?

Wait, There Really Isn’t That Many Different Types of Weed? No way!

The current naming convention of marijuana strains is being seriously challenged.Forbes published this crazy article this week claiming the rumor that there are more than 10,000 marijuana strains is misleading. No way! Just kidding, I’m not surprised in any way. Well, they did not come right out and say there aren’t 10,000 strains because technically if you breed two plants that are even a little phenotypically different from one another, then you have created a new cultivar. But the naming convention for cannabis is getting out of control. You all know it’s true. Whether people want to admit it or not, when they shop around in a dispensary and look at all of the little cards with different strain names, THC:CBD ratios or terpene content for each of the samples, they have no idea how to make any sense it. From the consumer’s perspective they are looking for something that will make them feel a certain way. When you walk into a dispensary you might find 10 different Blue Dream strains offered by different vendors that have different terpenes and THC:CBD ratios. That is fine if what you are looking for is different smells and tastes as if they were wine. But, if you want them to make you feel a specific way or have anything in common, there is no way to tell for the most part. The article references a sativa strain from the city of Durban in South Africa which contains the rare THCVA appetite suppressant cannabinoid, which is its signature. Growers in the U.S. though bred it with everything under the sun and called it Durban Poison, which often doesn’t even contain THCVA. They referenced the Dr. Cindy Orser from Digipath Labs article, “Making Sense of Cannabis Strains through Chemometrics” in the Forbes piece as well. To be continued…

Nevada Further Reforms Marijuana Laws

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Las Vegas over the last couple of years, and I have to say that weed has transformed that city. It is killing it in sales and the variety of cannabis cultivars is crazy. (We can’t say marijuana strains anymore because now that science is getting involved they are correcting everyone about how the word “strain” specifically applies to viruses and bacteria. Don’t want to confuse everyone. 😁 ) They have the largest dispensary in the world and every taxi (they still have those in Vegas too) is covered in dispensary ads. Nevada is also doing a good job in refining their cannabis laws as well. Their new Governor Steve Sisolak just signed 3 major bills to help out cannabis consumers. One of the bills expands qualifying conditions for medical marijuana cards to include chronic pain and opioid addiction. Another bill will seal the records of anyone convicted of a cannabis related crime that is now legal in the state, such as possession. It’s not as good as expunging records but still should help out a lot. But the biggest piece of legislation is a real first of its kind. Assembly Bill 132 keeps most employers in Nevada from discriminating against applicants and employees that fail drug tests for THC. That is big news. THC can linger in people’s system for a long time inactively. So, if you test positive it does not necessarily mean that you are high. We will have to see if any court cases come up over this one.

Colorado’s Milestone

Colorado has made more than $1 billion in state revenue from cannabis sales.
Silverpeak Apothecary – Aspen, CO

The home of many cities a mile or more up in the air has hit another milestone. $1 Billion Dollars! Too corny, I know. Seriously, you have to give a shoutout to Colorado. Along with Washington they were the first one to legalize adult-use marijuana and start selling it too. They have now breached $1 billion in state revenue from the sale of cannabis. They have sold a total of more than $6.5 billion all together. The first place I ever bought legal weed in the United States was at the Silverpeak Apothecary in Aspen. Awesome place! The security guard looked at my ID and then asked if I was proud to be an American. I was! Sales have been jumping up lately too. A lot of that may have had to do with the 4/20 holiday and that Governor Polis is really opening the door for social consumption venues. Imagine what next April will be like when the whole month is 4/20!

Smoking Weed 2,500 Years Ago

The found a bowl in an ancient burial ground in Western China full of burnt THC.I could talk about the nonsensical court ruling in California that prisoners can legally possess marijuana but not smoke it. But, I don’t want to. I could talk about the efforts to protect federal employees that smoke weed in legal states from being fired. But, I am not going to do that either. I think all efforts to further marijuana law reform is awesome, don’t get me wrong. But evidence that people smoked weed in Western China 2,500 years ago is just awesome. If I lived 2,500 years ago, I would have been stoned all the time. Hey everybody, look at this weird plant! Let’s smoke it! I bet they had crazy bonfire parties back then. They had the worst bowls though. In a New Atlas article I read they talk about how they found this ancient burial site where apparently they honored the dead with style. Have you seen this ancient funerary incense burner? There are definitely more efficient ways to smoke some weed! They found it in western China and tested it. It had high concentrations of THC in it and they even found weed growing wildly nearby.

That’s it everyone. Next weekend will be the first official weekend of summer. Where is 2019 going! Remember to follow our Youtube channel, The National Marijuana News, along with our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages @NationalMJNews. Check out Christine Sclafani’s culture page too, @Culture.TNMNews, she’s great! I hope everyone enjoys the weekend!