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Google Bans In-App Marijuana Sale and Delivery on its Play Store

Daniel King

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Google Bans Marijuana Apps

Google announced in its policy update that it is banning applications that facilitate sale and delivery of marijuana, regardless of legality.

The Play Store ban includes apps that allow buyers to use a phone or other mobile device to order cannabis through a shopping cart for delivery or pick-up. It will also prohibit apps that make the sale of THC products convenient.

Android Police and Marijuana Moment first spotted the update early this week. A Google spokesperson said marijuana app operators should transfer the shopping cart option outside of the app to comply with its policy.

The tech giant said app developers have 30 days to comply.

The ban will probably impact Weedmaps, an app that assists users to find dispensaries for medical and recreational marijuana and helps online ordering and delivery and other related apps.

The spokesperson said that Google releases policy updates regularly to make sure it provides safe and positive experiences for users and developers. The updates will also ensure that the tech company complies with various legal policies worldwide.

In the past, Google did not have a policy prohibiting apps related to marijuana. Apple’s has previously banned cannabis-related apps but lifted that ban in 2015, Android Police said.

Companies in the cannabis industry have been complaining about the inconsistency from social media companies regarding its rules and actions about marijuana-related pages and apps, particularly in US states where medical or recreational cannabis is legal. In some instances, Facebook pages for state agencies concerned with marijuana sales or regulation have been removed.

Aside from cannabis, Google’s new policy update also prohibits apps that facilitate the sale of tobacco. The tech giant has yet to ban apps related to the sale of alcohol.

Google enforces its shopping cart ban despite the legalization of recreational marijuana in several states, including California, the company’s home state. Medical marijuana is also legal in more than 30 states, although it remains illegal on the federal level.

 

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Arts Culture

Chinese Tombs With Cannabis Traces Found

Stacey Wellington

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Chinese Tombs found with Cannabis Traces

Researchers in China have discovered traces of cannabis from tombs hailing from western China. According to CNN, the first directive evidence found about the use of cannabis can be traced back to a 2,500-year-old tomb. This is considered as the first clear and known evidence of humans using cannabis.

Strong Evidence

The Atlantic reports that researchers from China and Germany found braziers as the strongest evidence of humans using this plant. These braziers, also known as wooden incense burners, reportedly contain high levels of THC from cannabis.

The team of scientists were able to identify the sample obtained from the burners through vaporizing a sample. Afterwards, The Atlantic states that the scientists painstakingly separated its components and classified the level of chemicals found within the compounds.

Wooden brazier found at Jirzankal Cemetery with traces of Cannabis | © Xinhua Wu

Apart from finding burners at the Jirzankal Cemetery, researchers were also able to dig up human bones. The origins of the human bones point to individuals coming from a variety of places, including Pamirs that were previously part of the Silk Road.

Such findings led the scientists to link cannabis to these individuals, with individuals suggesting that these plants may have been traded in the Silk Road.

Besides burners, the team successfully retrieved numerous artifacts. These include wooden bowls and plates, glass beads, harps, pieces of silk, and pieces of skulls and human bones, reports the New York Times.

Discovery of Different Uses of Cannabis

Compared to more modern uses of marijuana, the traces of cannabis found at the Jirzankal Cemetery were found to contain higher traces of THC, the psychoactive compound. Based on the report released by BBC, it appears that ancient individuals put marijuana leaves on top of hot stones and inhaled the smoke.

BBC notes that the high altitude of the region resulted in marijuana plants naturally producing plants with higher THC levels.

Apart from these suggested uses, scientists suggest that marijuana leaves were used for burial ceremonies as a means to communicate with souls or the divinity. The Atlantic reports that burning these plants also served as a vessel to safely guide and move the deceased towards the afterlife. The news site also mentions that cannabis may have been used to alter the mind and talk with divine entities.

Given the high levels of THC found in these plants, marijuana may also be used for deodorizing corpses.

The study of this tomb and its connection with marijuana was published in the journal of Science Advances, notes the New York Times.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Columbia Care Kicks Off First Cannabis Credit Card

Jordan Webber

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Columbia Care Cannabis Credit Card

Columbia Care announced the launch of its National Credit program with its CNC Card.

The medical marijuana company licensed to operate in the U.S. and 15 jurisdictions in the European Union said the launch of the card follows a successful test run in New York in the second half of 2018. The introduction of the card led to an 18% increase in the number of in-store purchases. Moreover, the card also helped boost repeat visits and home delivery orders.

With the card, people in the U.S. can now get a credit card for buying medical cannabis.

From New York, the Columbia Care will offer the program to its Delaware and Pennsylvania markets. Later, the company’s Illinois and Arizona customers can apply for the card. The firm aims to expand the reach of its program to all its locations by the end of 2019.

Cannabis Credit Card

Available initially only at Columbia Care dispensaries, the firm is looking into opportunities for expanding the availability of the card across the country through targeted partnerships.

Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care, said the firm aims on expanding the cannabis market in the country. Through the launching of the first cannabis credit card in the country, the company allows consumers and participants in the industry to purchase cannabis products.

He also said the card would act as a starting point of the company’s nationwide growth initiatives, including home delivery, the launching of an e-commerce site, and automatic fulfillment.

In addition to having a tool for an electronic form of payment, CNC cardholders can also be eligible for other benefits including discounts, cash back affinity programs, educational seminars, privileged access to new products and other exclusive offers.

Cannabis Banking Gaining Steam

Aside from having a cannabis credit card, medical marijuana customers may also enjoy the benefits of banking. Earlier this month, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation that kicks off a three-year pilot program wherein cannabis firms could use an online system in sending and receiving digital currency.

Last month, the California State Senate passed a bill allowing financial institutions to offer products and services dedicated to cannabis financial transactions.

If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the legislation, around 900 bank branches in the state would be allowed to handle cannabis cash, California Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg said.

The federal government is also working on protecting legitimate cannabis financial transactions. Earlier this month, a U.S. House committee approved a bill that includes a provision that would safeguard banks serving legal marijuana businesses from getting penalized by federal financial regulators.

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Cannabis News

Nevada Bans Employment Discrimination Against Marijuana Users

Jordan Webber

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Nevada Employment Discrimination Law

On Wednesday, June 5, the Governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, officially signed signed AB 132, which prohibits employment discrimination for job applicant just because of the presence of marijuana in a screening test. The said act also authorizes employees to refute the results of a screening tests given certain circumstances.

In a news article published in MERRY JANE, it was explained that although the state legalized the use of weed in the year 2017, many private companies still conform to the strict anti-drug policies for potential applicants. This sparked up a number of problems, especially to job seekers who happened to be cannabis enthusiasts.

“There is nothing in AB 132 that prevents an employer from having a policy prohibiting the possession or use of marijuana at the workplace,” explained AB 132’s lead sponsors, Dina Neal, during a hearing in February. “The bill does not get into violating the [federal] supremacy clause or get into the business of usurping federal law and preventing rights of federal employees.”

Challenges on the Bill

However, despite the passage of the said Act, many believe that marijuana consumers are still yet to face difficulties in getting hired.

During a phone interview with MERRY JANE, Madisen Saglibene, executive director of Nevada NORML and Las Vegas NORML, a non-profit organisation aiming for the legalization of marijuana, said, “It’s still going to be a big problem because there are exclusions for unions.” She is one of the lead supporters of the passing of AB 132 and worked with its legislators.

“The unions employ a lot of people in Las Vegas. And they definitely are not included in this legislation,” she added.

Another problem that the passing of the bill faces concerns the term “safety sensitive.” Many thinks the term is too broad, which could lead to some employers abusing the term’s vagueness to further marginalize those who are using cannabis.

“Some employers would use that and declare everyone they employed is in a safety-sensitive position because they all have access to the cash register or some sharp instrument,” Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton said during the February hearing.

With this, lawmakers are currently making efforts to amend the bill and specify what constitutes the said term. Later on, the amended bill included emergency medical professionals, fire fighters, motor vehicle drivers, cops and other professions which job could endanger someone else’s life in case of intoxication.

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