Marijuana News Roundup: Democrats Add Pot Law Reform to Platform

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The Democratic National Committee on Saturday approved a party platform plank calling for marijuana law reform. All 15 members of the platform drafting committee, including the 7 appointed by Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign committee, approved the plank.

But not until the committee had rejected language proposed by the Sanders-appointed members that was both simpler and more far-reaching than the plank as finally approved.

According to a report at marijuana.com, the rejected language read:

We will refocus our drug policy by removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allowing states to set their own policies.

The adopted language reads:

We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize marijuana should be able to do so. We support policies that will allow more research to be done on marijuana, as well as reforming our laws to allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty. And we recognize our current marijuana laws have had an unacceptable disparate impact, with arrest rates for marijuana possession among African-Americans far outstripping arrest rates among whites despite similar usage rates.

The platform may still be amended by the full platform committee which is scheduled to meet on July 8 and 9 or by all the delegates at the party’s national convention in Philadelphia that begins on July 25.

Here are excerpts from other recent cannabis-related news stories.

$60M in Oregon Rec Cannabis Sales from January Thru May
Oregon rang up nearly $60 million in recreational cannabis sales between Jan. 1 and May 30, and that number will likely get even bigger later this year now that edibles and concentrates have been added to the lineup for adult-use customers.

Although adult-use sales formally began last October, when existing medical marijuana dispensaries were allowed to begin serving rec customers, sales taxes for rec cannabis only kicked in after the start of the year. The total sales figure is based on state tax collections.

From the start of the year through May, rec customers purchased almost 12,000 pounds, or six tons, of cannabis from dispensaries, according to the Register-Guard.

Those sales figures could jump later this year when the full rec market comes online. That’s because, for now, consumers face temporary limits on the edibles, concentrates and flower they can purchase.

Read more at Marijuana Business Daily.

Starbuds Loses License for Denver Marijuana Grow in First Decision of Its Kind
Neighborhood push-back against a northeast Denver marijuana grow operation culminated Thursday in the city’s first-ever denial of a routine cultivation license renewal.

Starbuds, a marijuana chain that grows plants on the second floor of its recreational shop at 4690 Brighton Blvd., plans to appeal the decision by Stacie Loucks, the executive director of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. In her decision, Loucks agrees with a hearing officer’s earlier findings that the grow operation’s odors and other effects conflict with a new aspirational neighborhood plan for working-class Elyria-Swansea.

But Brian Ruden, one of Starbuds’ owners, says more is at risk than Starbuds’ small grow operation in a matter being watched by Colorado’s marijuana industry.

“The truth is that this is a David vs. Goliath fight,” he said. “And this is an attack against the industry, not just Starbuds,” by neighborhood activists and the city.

Read more at The Denver Post.