Tag: cannabis legalization

Top Financial Firm Estimates National Cannabis Sales to Double in Two Years

The timing of when the federal government will finally end cannabis prohibition in the United States is always a prominent topic among advocates and industry professionals alike, and, if your circle of friends is anything like mine, a common discussion point at social gatherings as well. With the United States House of Representatives passing a legalization bill twice and public support at an all-time high, everyone can see that the war on cannabis is crumbling, but getting legislation through both chambers and Congress and signed by the president of the United States remains a Herculean task, even though it’s common sense to see that legalization is a much better policy than waging a failed war against our own nonviolent citizens. Even without any certainty that Uncle Sam will legalize within the next couple of years, top financial services firm Canter Fitzgerald predicts that sales numbers will be extremely robust, more than doubling current numbers by 2023, as Business Insider covered:

“There’s no doubt that, if approved, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s cannabis legalization bill would be a historic event for the U.S. cannabis industry. Doubtless, the market would explode. But, what is likely to happen to the market if that does not happen and there are no policy changes at the federal level?

“Cantor Fitzgerald’s Pablo Zuanic believes that even without such changes, U.S. multi-state operators will continue to benefit from ever-increasing sales growth and new legal states that are rolling out their adult-use marijuana programs or enhancing their existing medical cannabis programs.

According to the analyst, sales should hit $36 billion by 2023, up from $17 billion in 2020.” 

Increasing sales numbers are good news for the legalization movement, but the headlines about record-breaking financial numbers are often misleading cannabis consumers about the plight of small retailers. Craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf are hamstrung by a lack of access to regular financial services and an unreasonable tax burden. When the cannabis community supports local businesses, you are helping the fight to end prohibition while keeping more of your hard-earned dollars within your state and community, instead of shipping the dollars to international corporations. The end of cannabis prohibition is in sight, but let’s legalize the right way and ensure that small businesses, the true economic engine of our economy, are able to thrive in the industry.

Kind Leaf is proud to support our friends and neighbors and to help fund important programs for our community. Please check out the best selection of cannabis in the Great Northwest and remember that we provide weekly deals and discounts for senior citizens, military veterans, and OMMP patients.

Will We See Cannabis Legalization within the Next 18 to 24 months?

Debating if we will see the United States end federal cannabis prohibition within our lifetime has really morphed into conversations about “when” Uncle Sam will finally sweep Reefer Madness into the dustbin of history. There are the more optimistic among us who see things falling into place rather quickly, counting on common sense to prevail swiftly, including some important elected officials evolving on the issue. Others are more pessimistic, or realistic, depending upon your perspective, thinking that it’ll be more in the 5-10 year range. I imagine that those that don’t see legalization occurring within the next decade are in the minority. You can count Irwin Simon, CEO of Canadian cannabis company Tilray as one of the more optimistic prognosticators, expectating the U.S. to legalize within the next two years:

“Citing the recent legislative push to end the federal prohibition of marijuana, ‘I see over the next 18-to-24 months that cannabis in some format will have legalization,’ Simon told Yahoo Finance Live (video above), later adding: ‘Trust me: When legalization does happen, we will be ready… to be a part of it.’

“The Canadian cannabis company — listed on both the Nasdaq (TLRY) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TLRY.TO) — currently has around 14% market share in the medical and adult recreational use cannabis market in Canada, Simon noted, with an objective to reach 30%.

“And while ‘we don’t to anything in cannabis today in the U.S.’ due to the federal prohibition, Simon said, Tilray is preparing for the future ability to further enter the American market.”

While I appreciate folks’ optimism, if you gave me an over/under on two years, I’m taking the over, based upon political realities. I know that it can be extremely frustrating for the cannabis community that such an obvious failed experiment like the war on cannabis can take so long to overturn, but the political realities overturning a position hardened by decades of propaganda and millions upon millions of lobbying dollars are difficult to overcome. Most likely, it’ll take 60 votes in the Senate to pass a legalization bill, as unlike the House of Representatives which can pass a bill with a simple majority, prohibitionist senators have the option of invoking the filibuster to force supermajority support. It’s not even 100% certain that legalization would get 51 votes to farner a majority, but it’s definitely close.

There has been some talk about eliminating the filibuster, so that procedural change would change things and make the 18-24 window more likely. Only time will tell, but if we remain vigilant and continue to speak the truth about cannabis and the harmful consequences of prohibition, the truth will eventually set the cannabis community free.

Kind Leaf has the best selection of cannabis in the Great Northwest and when you shop at Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique, you know that your hard-earned dollars are supporting a small Oregon company while funding important important programs, including our schools and drug treatment services. Check out the menu and deals on Leafly, where you can even order online.

Celebrate Oregon’s Cannabis Legalization Anniversary with Kind Leaf

It’s been 6 years since the great state of Oregon officially legalized cannabis for adults at least 21 years old and it’s been a wild ride with ups and downs and twist and turns, but Oregonians can be proud of our pioneering spirit creating more freedom, jobs, and revenue. The Beaver State has a long history of helping lead the nation away from Reefer Madness prohibition, starting with becoming the first state to decriminalize personal possession all the way back in 1973, being one of the early states to adopt medical and adult use laws, and now leading the charge against the failed Drug War with the passage of the landmark Measure 109 psilocybin therapy and Measure 110 drug decriminalization laws in 2020.

Each advancement helps set the stage for the next positive step and needless to say, Measure 110 wouldn’t have passed without the Measure 91 legalization law leading the way in 2014. While a few counties defacto legalized before July 1, 2015, with lead prosecutors announcing that they would follow the will of the voters early, the first day of July marks when the entire state officially ended prohibition within its borders.

Come celebrate Oregon’s cannabis legalization anniversary and stock up for your July 4th celebration at Kind Leaf, Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique. At Kind Leaf, you get the best selection and you are supporting local small business that gives back to the community.

This week’s specials at Kind Leaf, until July 5th or supplies last (and please remember that there are always discounts for military veterans, OMMP patients, and senior citizens):

Flower:

15% OFF – Paradise Circus and MAC

30% OFF – Tokyo Snow and Strawberry Cream

40% OFF – Charvak and DoggFace Prepacked Flower 1/8th

Edibles:

15% OFF – Gron Pips and Estaweeda Granola

30% OFF – Mule Kicker Gummy – Hella Melon, LOL Doob Cube – Mango and Happy Cabbage Hemp Tinctures

Extracts:

15% OFF – Quantum Alchemy Extracts

30% OFF – Bobsled Extracts, Willamette Valley Alchemy .5g Vapes and Shatters

40% OFF – Highland Provision .5g Live Rosin Vape – Lemon Royale

Prerolls:

15% OFF – Epic Family Farm Packs Prerolls

30% OFF – Loyal Prerolls

While it is amazing to be able to legally purchase cannabis and other products, most importantly we have improved lives by ending thousands of harmful arrests and expunging criminal convictions. Just over a decade ago, nearly 15,000 people were being arrested and cited for cannabis, and now it’s less than 1,000. In 2010, there almost 30,000 people were arrested/cited for drug offenses, and now it’s less than 10,000 while that number will plummet even more thanks to the passage of Measure 110. Racial disparities in drug arrests have also decreased and our state has reallocated tens of millions of dollars away from investing in the prison-industrial complex to investing in our people, funding much-needed and life-saving treatment, harm reduction, and recovery programs.

There’s more work to be done to fully dismantle the Drug War and bring more equity and justice to the cannabis community, but we can take a moment to enjoy the gains that we’ve made. And as Oregonians celebrate the 6th year of legal cannabis, we are joined by Connecticut and Virginia who just became legal as well. Now, more than 40% of our nation live in states with legal cannabis. A sincere thanks to all advocates that are working to legalize freedom. Step by step, state by state, until we are all equal and free.

Minnesota House Passes Cannabis Legalization for the First Time

The cannabis legalization movement makes history seemingly every day, continuing important momentum in the fight against failed Drug War policies. Despite record-breaking polling numbers showing widespread support for ending prohibition, legislative victories are extremely tough. While some of the victories may seem like they happen quickly, the foundation for these wins takes many years, if not several decades. It probably surprises some that Minnesota hasn’t already legalized cannabis, but the state’s house just passed such a bill for the first time. While passage in the Senate, is unlikely it’s important to celebrate these victories as they beget more victories and bring us one step closer to the ultimate goal. KSTP Channel 5 reported:

The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, would allow for the possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana and expunge the criminal records of non-violent offenses involving cannabis.

“The war on drugs is a failed policy. The harms caused by current cannabis laws cannot be allowed to continue,” Winkler said in a statement. “Minnesota’s illegal cannabis market creates bad outcomes for everyone. Responsible regulations and safeguards to prevent youth access are a better solution to address the harms our current laws fail to address.”

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The bill heads next to the Republican-controlled Senate, but Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has already said it will not be brought to the floor for a vote.

The legislative process is often a complicated and tricky proposition, especially for the cannabis community as there are a lot of details to be worked out to legalize the right way. It’s difficult to navigate various interests through different committees, and this bill had to survive 12 committees to finally make its way to a floor vote. It takes tenacity to a lot of determination to accomplish such a goal and Minnesotan advocates should be commended. They have the foundation of the House built, now they just have to figure out the Senate.

One of the best things about working in drug policy reform is that you learn something new all of the time, virtually every single day. Even when you don’t achieve your ultimate goal and you lose an election or legislative battle, you gain wisdom as you find new allies and absorb new information. While the folks in the Land of 10,000 Lakes apparently won’t win the ultimate goal of ending cannabis prohibition this legislative session, they are in a better position than ever before and I predict that they will be joining the states that have swept Reefer Madness into the dustbin of history within the next few years.

Kind Leaf thanks activists everywhere working to free the cannabis plant.

Automatically Release Cannabis Prisoners and Expunge Criminal Records

Ending cannabis prohibition is a transformational policy that ends thousands upon thousands of arrests while generating millions upon millions of dollars. Lives are drastically improved as nonviolent, law-abiding citizens no longer have their educational, employment, and housing opportunities stripped from them. And more people have access to a safe medicine that can help alleviate their condition, and for some, could even be life-saving. But more still needs to be done after legalizing cannabis, starting with broader criminal justice implications. First and foremost, everyone in prison for cannabis should be released from prison and all criminal records shoulds be expunged automatically. This shouldn’t be controversial, but it’s not easy to accomplish.

Following the passage of Oregon Measure 91 in 2014, one of my favorite stories that emerged was of a man who had tears of joy after he was able to expunge a felony that had followed him his entire life. While I am still extremely happy that Oregonians can remove criminal convictions that they previously couldn’t, we didn’t go far enough. Clearing your criminal history shouldn’t depend upon the ability to pay an attorney, filing fees, and jumping through hurdles. Cannabis is legal now, signifying that it was a mistake to criminalize it in the first place. People shouldn’t have their lives hindered forever because the law was an error. They are grappling with this very issue in Virginia, one of the most recent states to end prohibition, as NBC Channel 12 reported:

Marijuana will soon be legal in the commonwealth starting July 1, but that does not mean those jailed for marijuana-related offenses will get out right away.

While the new legislation takes effect July 1, people will not have marijuana-related charges cleared from their records right off the bat, especially if they are more serious.

“I’m pretty sure that the expungement of past convictions is going to take a while to put into effect,” Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Hingeley said.

Noah Strike, a columnist for the The Cavalier Daily, rightly took the state to task:

The General Assembly’s move to legalize recreational marijuana and create a regulated market for it in the Commonwealth is undeniably a good thing. Governor Northam’s commitment to social justice in legalization is exactly what Virginia needs in our contemporary period. But it is impossible to legalize marijuana under the banner of social justice without accounting for and actively addressing the historical harm American drug policies have caused. It is impossible to fulfill our goal of racial justice without freeing those incarcerated for past marijuana offenses.

Legalizing personal possession and regulating cannabis commerce is only a part of the battle to implementing sensible and sound legalization policies. There’s a lot of work to be done after cannabis is legal. Let’s start with ending the ridiculous notion that people should have job and housing opportunities denied because the state made the mistake of criminalizing cannabis in the first place.

Gallup: All-Time High 68% of Americans Support Cannabis Legalization

Imagine living in a world where only 12% of Americans support cannabis legalization. The year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and the Beatles played their last performance, 1969, was when Gallup first polled Americans, “Do you think the use of marijuana should be legal or not?” Nearly 90% of Americans either opposed ending prohibition or were unsure. Fast forward to 2021, and we can clearly see the success of the cannabis community all around us, in our many political and cultural victories. And Gallup has the receipts, as support for legalization has reached an all-time high of 68%, as the polling company revealed, noting the success of the movement over the decades:

Americans are more likely now than at any point in the past five decades to support the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. The 68% of U.S. adults who currently back the measure is not statistically different from last year’s 66%; however, it is nominally Gallup’s highest reading, exceeding the 64% to 66% range seen from 2017 to 2019.

Gallup first measured the public’s views of marijuana legalization in 1969, when 12% of Americans backed it; by 1977, support had more than doubled to 28%. It did not exceed 30% until 2000 but has risen steeply in the two decades since then, and is now twice what it was in 2001 and 2003.

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The trajectory of the public’s support for the legalization of marijuana has coincided with an increasing number of states approving it. It is not entirely clear whether the shift in public opinion has caused the change in many state laws or vice versa. Given recent trends, more states are likely to legalize recreational marijuana in the future. Considering the high level of public support for such a measure, a change in federal policy could even occur.

While its been easy to see the success of the drug policy reform community in educating the public about cannabis, it’s always great to view hard data as our fight for freedom will only get harder in the electoral battles ahead. Reefer Madness prohibition has been the law of the land for decades and prison-industrial complex and other business interests that have perversely benefitted from arrests and convictions of those that dare to utilize cannabis, will give up their entrenched power willingly. If every state had a fair initiative process, where we can take the issue directly to voters, our electoral challenge would be much easier. Passing groundbreaking legislation that upends nearly a century of lies is still a difficult task, especially when wealthy business interests opposing legalization flex their political muscle. However, with the truth on our side and supermajority support from American voters, we just need to continue doing the hard work that has led to so many successes, step by step, state by state.

Cannabis community, come celebrate your supermajority status at Kind Leaf in beautiful, Pendleton, Oregon. Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique has the best selection in the Great Northwest and great deals that include discounts for military veterans, OMMP patients, and senior citizens.

With Mexico Moving to Legalize Cannabis, the U.S. Is in Danger of Getting Left Behind

Our entire lives we have been taught about American exceptionalism. It is ingrained in us with our nation’s origin story about how the great George Washington, who allegedly wouldn’t lie about chopping down a cherry tree, led a ragtag group of freedom fighters to win independence from the mighty British Empire. Yes, we often ignore or downplay our faults and mistakes along the way, but Americans love to tout our great nation as the greatest of all-time, and the land of the free and the home of the brave does have some great accomplishments, such as winning independence from England and being the birthplace of Rock and Roll, for starters. We are supposed to be the leaders of the free world, so the United States getting left behind by our North American neighbors on cannabis legalization is just embarrassing, and as the Dude said, “This aggression will not stand, man.”

First, our neighbor to the north ended cannabis prohibition as Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party was swept into power with legalization as a foundation of its political platform in 2018. After years of Vancouver, British Columbia, helping lead the way, drug policy reformers cheered on our Canadian counterparts, just knowing the their success would soon help our political battle here as well. While we are proud of the work of Canadian advocates, it soon became distressing to see big multinational corporations headquartered in Canada use their newfound freedom to buy up smaller American cannabis businesses who have been too stifled by Uncle Sam’s probationary policies to compete.

Now, as Politico reported our neighbor to the south, is on the verge of ending cannabis prohibition:

Mexico is on the verge of creating the world’s largest legal marijuana market, a move that could pressure President Joe Biden to embrace weed, too.

Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies passed landmark legislation Thursday morning, ahead of a April 30 deadline set by the country’s Supreme Court to legalize recreational sales. The Senate is expected to back the billin the coming days.

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President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose party strongly backs the proposal, is expected to sign the bill, sandwiching the U.S. between the world’s two biggest legal marijuana markets.

While I am gland the Mexico is moving towards legalization and am hopeful that their progress will help spur Congress to act quickly, I am fearful that this will open up yet another wave of corporate takeovers. The 280E IRS tax code and lack of banking and financial services are crippling American companies while corporations will now be able to utilize Mexico’s more favorable laws to purchase companies here in the U.S., just as companies have done in Canada. Now that American entrepreneurs will face major competitors from both sides of our border, on an uncompetitive playing field, it’s even more imperative that Congress pass legalization as soon as possible. We can start with the SAFE Banking Act and move forward from there, but time is of the essence.

Nebraska Governor Infected Reefer Madness

The days of Reefer Madness are waning as legalization is supported by a supermajority of all voters, more than a dozen states have now legalized cannabis after nearly all have passed medical legislation, and there is majority support to end federal prohibition in United States House of Representatives and potentially the Senate. The hyperbolic claims of the evils of marijuana, rooted in racism and dripping with harmful propaganda over the decades, have met science and common sense and the truth has been winning a lot lately, especially at the ballot box when the voters are provided an opportunity to have their say. Even some of the biggest former promoters of Reefer Madness nonsense over the past couple of decades have tried to soften their rhetoric a bit, claiming to support decriminalization (although that usually includes forced rehab), but just opposing commercialization. Unfortunately, those used to power don’t give up easily and Reefer Madness has still infected too many, including the governor of Nebraska as the USA Today reported:

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has launched an aggressive campaign against the legalization of medical marijuana in his state, going as far as to warn residents that legalizing the drug would kill their children, even though it has never been linked to a fatal overdose. 

“This is a dangerous drug that will impact our kids,” Ricketts told reporters on Wednesday. “If you legalize marijuana, you’re gonna kill your kids. That’s what the data shows from around the country.” 

The Republican governor made the statement as the state legislature is considering a bill to legalize the use of cannabis if recommended by a health care practitioner. The legislation restricts the form of consumption to oils, pills or tinctures, and prohibits marijuana smoking, even in the patient’s home. 

The notion that kids will die because Nebraskan grandparents will be able to treat their glaucoma and chronic pain with cannabis is obviously ridiculous, but it points to a huge problem facing too many voters for far too long: those in power who are completely out of touch. Given a fair vote, medicinal cannabis would win huge on the Nebraska ballot and legalizing for all adults would likely win majority support as well. Unfortunately, Reefer Madness is still alive and well and the infection has reached the highest levels of government in a handful of states such as Nebraska, Idaho, and South Dakota.

Ironically, the Reefer Madness-inspired “the sky is falling” rhetoric currently employed by Nebraska’s governor was once used about decriminalization laws, the type of decrim policies that Nebraska passed back in 1978. Just as those Reefer Madness Chicken Littles were wrong about the states that passed decriminalization in the ’70s, Governor Ricketts is wrong today. State by state, freedom and common sense are on the march, but Reefer Madness has caused some to remain blind to the truth.

Voters Find Cannabis Legalization Both Nonpartisan and Inevitable

I sometimes cringe when I hear people, especially non-activists, proclaim cannabis legalization as “inevitable.” On one hand, it is good for our political fight to ending prohibition as most voters don’t want to ruin lives and waste taxpayer dollars to perpetuate a failed and harmful policy that is going to end in the near future. However, the feeling of inevitability can discount the tons of work that people have put into the fight for freedom and make some people think that they don’t have to put in any work to help end the war on cannabis. While I do believe that it’s true that legalization is inevitable, it is only inevitable because so many people are working extremely hard every single day to spread the truth about cannabis and explaining the many reasons that prohibition should be repealed to voters, legislators, and policymakers.

A poll surveying voters in the four states that legalized cannabis last month (Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota) did indeed find that voters find legalization as inevitable, and most promising, non-partisan, as Marijuana Moment reported:

Three in four respondents said that, beyond their individual states, they view federal legalization as “inevitable.” And while Congress has been relatively slow to act to that end, their belief is bolstered by the fact that they view cannabis as an increasingly bipartisan issue.

Almost two-thirds of voters in these four states—which include a mix of red, blue and purple states—agreed that legalization is a policy that “both liberal and conservative voters can get behind.”

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“In sum, public opinion in the four states that legalized marijuana this fall shows a pattern of shifting opinions that bodes well for marijuana policy reform across the country,” FM3 Research and Fabrizio, Lee & Associates, which conducted the poll on behalf of the pro-legalization New Approach PAC, wrote in a memo. “Support for legalization in principle has become broad, strong, and bipartisan—reflecting a steady positive shift in perceptions of voters of all parties over the last few years.”

According to the New Approach PAC poll, a whopping 76% of these voters feel that legalization is inevitable, compared to 19% who don’t. Very promising, 65% of all voters, including 53% of Republicans, found that legalization is a non-partisan issue. I have long argued that cannabis law reformers needed to make the case to all voters about the progressive and conservative values at the core of the legalization debate, especially where the two sides meet: the need to remove government interference from the lives of otherwise law-abiding citizens that aren’t harming anyone else. Virtually every poll on cannabis is good news these days, but never forget that polls aren’t votes and that we cannot get complacent. The polling looks good because people are putting in the work. Let’s keep it up.

Another Historic Cannabis Moment: Mexico’s Senate Votes to Legalize

As the United States continues to make slow, steady progress towards ending cannabis prohibition, our neighbor to the south is helping show the way. With Canada already leading the way, the U.S. is in danger of falling behind Mexico as the Mexican Senate just voted to legalize. The Chamber of Deputies now has to pass the bill and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has already stated his support.

Like the debate in the U.S., as we are seeing both federally and in states like New Jersey, the issue isn’t just whether cannabis should be legalized (it should, of course), but around how the plant and its products should be legalized and regulated. Marijuana Moment reported:

While advocates have celebrated the advancement of cannabis reform through the legislature, they have fought hard for changes to better protect consumers’ rights and promote social equity in the legal market. Namely, they remain concerned about high penalties that can be imposed for violating the cannabis rules and feel the bill should do more to allow opportunities for small farmers.

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That said, Ricardo Monreal, the ruling MORENA party’s coordinator in the Senate, argued last week that the proposal is a significant improvement on current laws against possession, which have “only caused the detention centers to be full of people for possession of a few grams of cannabis, which is why they seek to reduce the penalties in carrying of this product.”

In a column published on the senator’s website on Sunday, he said the “intensity, duration and complexity of the discussion reflects the desire to achieve the pacification of a country that for years has been a victim of violence caused by drug trafficking, as well as the will to respect the right to free development of the personality, at the same time that favorable conditions are generated to expand national economic development,” according to a translation.

With 68% of U.S. voters supporting cannabis legalization, it is going to be an embarrassment if we are the last North American nation to end prohibition. Let’s get our act together so that our farmers and entrepreneurs can truly flourish.