Marijuana Politics

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State regulators vow review of Warren County marijuana grower sale to Canadian investment firm


State officials promised a full regulatory review of the proposed purchase of medical marijuana company Etain Health, which has a dispensary in Ulster and a growing operation in Chestertown, near Lake George, by a Canadian cannabis acquisition and investment firm RIV Capital for $247 million.

“As per New York’s Cannabis Law, this proposed transaction, with respect specifically to the registration held by Etain in the State of New York, will undergo a regulatory review and approval process after a complete and adequate application is submitted,” state Office of Cannabis Management Spokesperson Freeman Klopott said last week.


Saskatoon police say they're spotting more drivers impaired by cannabis

police check point

Saskatchewan drivers will begin to notice more reminders of impaired driving in their communities this month.

MADD Saskatoon's Mobile Sign Campaign launched on Friday, showing the locations where impaired drivers were caught and charged. The signs also encourage drivers to call 911 if they suspect a driver is impaired.

“Sometimes what catches people more is some of the locations and the time of day,” MADD Saskatoon President Bonny Stevenson said.

“I always tell people that impaired drivers are everywhere throughout our city on every street at any time of day. It's not just after the bars close. It’s on Circle Drive.”

Last week, the RCMP was marking National Impaired Driving Prevention week highlighting high drivers on Saskatchewan roads.


Can municipalities do anything about the number of cannabis shops popping up everywhere?

cannabis shop

Nowadays, you can't walk very far down the streets of downtown Toronto, and likely other major cities, without seeing a cannabis store. A product that was illegal a short time ago is now widely available to the public. Before January 22, 2019, municipalities could opt out of cannabis retail stores within their municipal boundaries.1 Some of those that haven't are left wondering what their options are.

Can municipalities do anything about the volume and density of cannabis shops showing up everywhere? In short, while they can have their concerns heard, their right to be heard doesn't mean they have a right to be obeyed.


Cannabis growers still treated as criminals

hands in handcuffs

Ongoing prohibitionist laws lead to a cycle of mistrust that excludes rural growers from the legal regime.

Canadian minorities, like Indigenous people and people of colour, were disproportionally affected by cannabis prohibition and continue to be troubled by the criminal framework. It is less well known that many rural parts of B.C. with legacy producing cannabis histories like the Kootenays were also disproportionally affected during prohibition by frequent helicopter flyovers and road checks, unfounded house raids, excessive cannabis charges and convictions and other forms of overzealous enforcement, including being handcuffed in front of children.


Chile becomes increasingly fertile ground for marijuana plantations

marijuana plantation

Authorities have discovered several marijuana plantations in a mountainous region of central Chile, revealing that the country is no longer just a major destination point for cannabis but a producer as well.

The latest marijuana farm bust occurred in mid-March, when some 8,600 plants, valued at almost $60 million, were seized in the province of Choapa, outside the coastal city of Coquimbo, La Tercera reported. Earlier in the month, authorities discovered some 4,000 plants in the town of Cabildo, south of Choapa.


$4.4 million in cannabis and equipment seized in Leamington


Essex County OPP have charged four people after seizing $4.4 million in cannabis and equipment in Leamington.

The OPP Community Street Crime Unit and the Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team in partnership with Municipality of Leamington bylaw officers, executed a warrant in the 100 block of Mersea Road 5 on Thursday.

Officers say they found about 7,600 cannabis plants in various stages of growth, 500 pounds of processed cannabis, and various grow equipment, with a total value of $4,418,490.

Four people were arrested:


Ontario traffic stop leads to seizure of cannabis, cocaine and $67,000 in cash


Two residents of Southern Ontario have been charged after a traffic stop near White River

Two residents of Southern Ontario have been charged after a Northern Ontario traffic stop led to the seizure of drugs and cash.

A vehicle search led to the discovery of small quantities of suspected cannabis and cocaine as well as over $67,000 in currency, the Southeast Ontario Provincial Police – Wawa Detachment noted in a news release.

Members of the OPP were conducting a RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) checkpoint on Highway 17 in Vasiloff Township near White River earlier this month when the vehicle entered the checkpoint.

Officers noted a cannabis smell emanating from the vehicle and conducted a search.


Alberta to re-evaluate product display rules to combat cannabis store robberies

dispensary image

Window coverings are the "biggest issue that we have," says Calgary Police Service

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) is looking at ways to combat thefts and crimes in the province’s 700+ licensed dispensaries.

While the window coverings are not mandatory, products cannot be visible to youth from outside storefronts.



AGLC, police re-examining cannabis store rules after spate of violent crimes

caution tape

Stores say window coverings give cover for robbers to assault staff, steal product

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) is looking at possible changes to its rules around product displays in cannabis stores as Calgary experiences a rise in crimes targeting the retailers. 

Stores around the city are complaining that the window coverings seen at many locations are providing cover for robbers to assault staff and steal. 

"This has been a major concern for us since the beginning. We took our window coverings down because of it," said Ashley Newman, founder of Queen of Bud. 


Legal weed paying off for B.C. First Nation



While some Indigenous communities in B.C. have embraced the grey market for cannabis, the Williams Lake First Nation has taken a different approach that embraces the law.

That decision has paid off handsomely for the WLFN, with officials on Friday performing a cultural blessing at its Unity Cannabis shop in Penticton, which is the third such store it has opened in B.C.

Chief Willie Sellars, who attended the ceremony, said in an interview afterwards the decision to keep everything above board was grounded in economic and safety reasons.


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