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Higher Authority

2022 Election Recap: Where is Weed Legal?

Election Day is finally over. The votes have been (mostly) counted, and the results are (mostly) in. Cannabis legalization was a hot topic during the midterm election. Five states had adult-use legalization measures on the ballot, along with more than 100 local cannabis-related ballot initiatives across the country. And the results are mixed.Arkansas- Failed Issue 4 failed to garner enough support from Arkansas voters, according to Politico. Passage would have legalized the sale, possession,...

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Reefer Madness: Debunking 5 Cannabis Myth

In the 1930s, cannabis was the scapegoat for America’s spiritual and moral decay— the devil’s lettuce that pushed people to jump out of windows and commit mass murder. It's easy to look back and laugh at the ridiculousness of the Reefer Madness era, and even though the posters are now considered pop art, these myths had serious public policy consequences. And they still do. Harry J. Anslinger, the first Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, garnered public support for his...

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What is the Status of Cannabis Legalization in Mexico?

Mexico legalized medical cannabis — but it’s still not legal. To understand where cannabis legalization in Mexico stands today, let’s first take a look at the history of cannabis regulation in the country. Timeline of Mexican Cannabis Policy  Mexico made international headlines in 2015, when the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ruled that consuming adult-use cannabis is a fundamental human right. The SCJN effectively decriminalized cannabis three years later, declaring most...

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Death and Taxes…and the Death of Taxes

How Section 280E Harms the Legal Cannabis Industry As Benjamin Franklin once famously declared, “in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” He neglected to mention that those “certain” taxes often resulted in uncertainty for those who pay them. In an industry defined by barriers to entry, constant legal challenges, and burdensome regulations and restrictions, an outdated tax code is the last thing legal cannabis businesses need. Behold: Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 280E....

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2022 Midterms: Where is Cannabis on the Ballot?

This year’s midterm elections are critical to the future and growth of the legal cannabis industry. Cannabis-related ballot initiatives provide voters an opportunity to legalize cannabis if their state legislature failed to do so . . . or hasn’t even tried. And when cannabis is on the ballot, it usually wins. As a matter of fact, during the cycle, every statewide cannabis-related measure that was on the ballot passed by wide margins. But that was 2020, a presidential year, when voter...

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Normalizing Nature

Embracing Discomfort to Drive Change “If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster of marijuana he would drop dead of fright.” Harry J. Anslinger. Mr. Anslinger, the infamous father of cannabis prohibition, ignited an era of ignorance, fear-mongering, and injustice with his notorious role at the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Together with future like-minded prohibitionists like Presidents Nixon and Reagan, Anslinger and his allies transformed the American psyche:...

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The Truth About Fentanyl-Laced Cannabis

There’s been a lot of recent news media reports and statements from high-ranking elected officials about the dangers of fentanyl-laced cannabis. They claim that there’s been a rise in dealers cutting cannabis with fentanyl and selling it to unsuspecting consumers This makes for great headlines. But there is little truth behind it. In fact, there is no evidence that cannabis is being intentionally laced with fentanyl–in the U.S. or anywhere else.Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid used to...

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Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act: WM Policy Analysis

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the highly anticipated Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA)— a bill that would put an end to over 50 years of federal cannabis prohibition.  A discussion draft of the CAOA was first released in 2021, and more than a year and 1,800 comments later, the official bill language is finally here. At a high level, the CAOA would remove cannabis from the Controlled...

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Embracing Cannabis in the AAPI Community

After the Vietnam War, nearly 2 million Vietnamese “boat people” – including my parents – risked their lives to flee from political persecution and oppression with dreams of finding freedom in a foreign land. Unsure of what was ahead, they relied on stories of hope,...

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The Conservative Case for Cannabis

Around the same time I joined Weedmaps in November of 2021, Pew Research Group published survey data on attitudes towards cannabis within partisan coalitions. The top line: Democrats are more likely to support cannabis legalization than Republicans.   As a lifelong...

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A World of Difference

I will admit, it’s “been a minute” as my kids would say, since I got excited about a cannabis conference. Don’t get me wrong. These gatherings are important, useful, impactful and worthwhile. I am not saying otherwise. Perhaps I’m suffering from “conference fatigue.”...

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Cannabis or Marijuana…

Starting a new job is never easy -- trying to remember everyone’s name, completing endless tax and insurance forms (beneficiaries???? ) . . . not to mention mastering the corporate jargon. The roadblock I hit: “Cannabis” versus “Marijuana”-- What is the correct word...

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When Less Isn’t More: A Review of the MORE Act

Off to a good start but “more” needs to be done The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement bill, commonly known as the MORE Act. If passed by the Senate and then signed into law by the President, the bill would,...

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Cannabis, COVID, Community . . . and Cheers!

“Sometimes you want to go; Where everybody knows your name; And they’re always glad you came; You want to be where you can see; Our troubles are all the same”. Just like Norm and Frasier in Cheers, everyone craves the feeling of being welcomed into a space with...

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Introducing: A Higher Authority

As policy and perception continue to evolve, a growing need has emerged for reputable, relevant, and provocative discourse on issues impacting the global cannabis industry. Medical patients, adult-use consumers, advocates, and lawmakers are seeking  accurate...

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Cannabis Industry Overview

National Overview

Economic Impact

Cannabis License Types

Public Opinion Polling on Cannabis

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