California offers $100 million to rescue its struggling legal marijuana industry
Los Angeles will be the biggest beneficiary of the money, which was proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to help cannabis businesses acquire permanent licenses.Los Angeles will be the biggest beneficiary of the money, which was proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to be provided as grants to cities and counties to help cannabis businesses transition from provisional to regular licenses.
After Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed the state legislature's bill legalizing recreational marijuana on Tuesday, eyes are now on Rhode Island and New Hampshire as the final holdouts in New England to legalize cannabis.
Some marijuana rights advocates told ABC News it's only a matter of time before the two states join their neighbors, given the millions in extra revenue from marijuana sales and the calls for criminal justice reform from their constituents.
"I think the pressure will be there, being islands of prohibition in the Northeast," DeVaughn Ward, the senior legislative counsel for the non-profit group the Marijuana Policy Project, told ABC News.
Virginia marijuana legalization timetable has many confused
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia's road to legalizing simple possession of marijuana has had some twists and turns, so it's not surprising that advocacy groups have been flooded with calls from people trying to understand exactly what will be allowed under state law as of July 1. Legislators initially voted in February to legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adult recreational use, but not until 2024, when retail sales would begin. An outcry ensued over the three-year wait before ending pot possession penalties, so in April they voted to move up legalization to this July 1.
MORE: The growing acceptance of legalizing marijuana
While a vote on a legalization bill in Rhode Island is gaining strength following a passage in its state Senate, advocates on the ground in New Hampshire told ABC News that their state needs extra work.
Still, the marijuana proponents contend, the Connecticut victory greased the wheels in their favor.
Connecticut became the 19th state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over 21 on Tuesday.
Under Connecticut's law, which goes into effect July 1, residents over 21 will be able to possess and consume marijuana and state sales are slated to begin next year after the state comes up with its regulation policies. Previous lower-level cannabis records will be expunged as part of the new policy.
Standoff between Aaron Rodgers, Packers to last through start of training camp?
Green Bay veteran players are scheduled to report for training camp July 27, and it's unclear if Rodgers intends to continue his holdout through that date.Since the Packers ended minicamp, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport (h/t NFL's Adam Maya) has reported the rift between Rodgers and the Packers won't be repaired anytime soon.
Revenue from sales taxes on the substance, expected to be over $100 million annually, will be placed in a "Social Equity and Innovation Fund, which will be used to promote a diverse cannabis industry and reinvest in hard-hit communities," the Marijuana Policy Project said.
MORE: Legal marijuana movement builds as more states change laws
Ward said Connecticut's law came following years of lobbying and changing views on drug laws by state lawmakers. The successful legalization movements in nearby New Jersey and New York in the last year played the biggest factor, he said.
"You cannot cross state lines with different cannabis laws," he said. "It would be too complicated and hurt [Connecticut's] economy."
Ward said that Connecticut's passage is what spurred Rhode Island's legislature to vote on its bill that legalized recreational use. The Rhode Island State Senate passed its version of the bill, which would allow use for adults over 21 and charge a 20% tax, Tuesday night.
22 celebrities who became dads this year
Child stars Macaulay Culkin and Frankie Muniz now have children of their own. Here are other celebrities who'll be celebrating Father's Day this year.
Rhode Island's House of Representatives version of the bill, however, won't be coming up for a vote before the session ends next week due to a disagreement between lawmakers and Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee over one technical detail over regulation. The bill currently calls for the creation of an independent Cannabis Control Commission to regulate it, but the governor told reporters Tuesday he wants the state's Department of Business Regulation to regulate sales.
Nevertheless, Rhode Island House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi told ABC News in a statement that it's possible the House could hold a special session in the summer or fall to address the bill.
"We will take our time and make sure all proposals are carefully vetted and are in the best interest of the State of Rhode Island," he said in a statement.
This is the Instant Pot deal to grab on Amazon Prime Day
The Instant Pot is the Swiss Army knife of the kitchen. It's an all-in-one device that's easy to use and offers a range of cooking options. Several models are on sale for Amazon Prime Day, and perhaps the best choice for most people is the three-quart Instant Pot Duo Nova, which is down to $50 from the standard price of $80. Buy Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 (3-qt) at Amazon - $50 It's a seven-in-one multi-cooker that puts a range of cooking functions just a press of a button away. It's a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, food warmer and yogurt maker.
Despite the governor's comments, Ward predicted a "domino effect" brought on by the border states' successes in regulated cannabis will take place this year.
When it comes to New Hampshire, local marijuana legalization advocates contended the conservative state legislature and Gov. Chris Sununu's vocal opposition to legalization will make it harder to join their neighbors.
Overnight Health Care: Medicaid enrollment reaches new high | White House gives allocation plan for 55M doses | Schumer backs dental, vision, hearing in Medicare
Welcome to Monday's Overnight Health Care. If you live in DC, you might have Dr. Fauci come by to encourage you to get a vaccine. Fauci was out knocking on doors with DC Mayor Muriel Bowser over the weekend. If you have any tips, email us at [email protected][email protected][email protected] us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4, and @JustineColeman8.Today: Medicaid enrollment is up, the White House is making plans to share more vaccine doses with the world, and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer backs adding dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicare.
"Connecticut doesn't do enough for New Hampshire because we have one person holding it back," Daryl Eames, the founder of the New Hampshire Cannabis Association, an advocacy group, told ABC News.
Representatives for Gov. Sununu's office didn't immediately return ABC News' requests for comment.
Eames said an attempt to pass legislation for recreational marijuana in 2019 couldn't get past a veto-proof majority in the state Senate. Arguments over the lost tax revenue and, more importantly, loss business to neighboring states haven't been enough to sway the more conservative members of the government, Eames contended.
"It's just something that's not in their short-term plans," he said.
MORE: Marijuana legalization successes pave way for national conversation on drug laws: Experts
The political roadblocks are not discouraging Eames and state leaders who support legalization. He noted that more legislators on both sides of the aisle have formed cannabis caucuses and are mustering support for legalization efforts.
New Hampshire House Representative Timothy Egan, who chairs the Democratic House Cannabis Caucus, told ABC News that legalizing cannabis was critical for the state's post-pandemic future.
"New Hampshire prides itself with independent thought and touts a state motto of Live Free or Die. Legal access to adult use cannabis grown and marketed in New Hampshire without extensive government oversight is more than a right to create small businesses, it's seeing personal cultivation and possession as a civil right," he said in a statement.
Eames predicted that if other states across the country continue to legalize marijuana and, most importantly, if the federal government begins discussion to reschedule the substance, the governor and state house will have no choice but to reconsider.
"It does feel bad that we could be the only state in the region to not offer it, but it's probably going to be more of a question of when than if," he said.
Overnight Health Care: Eli Lilly to apply for accelerated approval of unproven Alzheimer's drug | Study finds big drop in US life expectancy, especially for Blacks, Hispanics | Largest providers in Mass. to require COVID vaccine .
Welcome to Thursday's Overnight Health Care. Clubbing for a cause? Scientists in Paris are looking for a group of fully vaccinated people to spend a night on the town, as part of a trial to test whether it's safe to reopen night clubs. If you have any tips, email us at [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4, and @JustineColeman8.Today: Three Massachusetts hospital systems will require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Eli Lilly is going to take advantage of new FDA precedent and file for expedited approval of its Alzheimer's drug and the pandemic caused a major drop in U.