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Cannabis Legalization

IL Delays Issuing of Licenses for Minority Business Owners

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Illinois has moved its schedule for giving cannabis licenses to minorities, said Block Club Chicago. Aspiring business owners who are entrepreneurs were meant to receive their licenses by the start of May but may now have to wait for a few months. At the very least, applicants can expect their licenses over the next months.

The state government announced that it will be giving 75 dispensary licenses, which were supposed to be given on May 1. However, governor JB Pritzker approved an executive order toward the end of April delaying the issuing of such permits to successful applicants. The indefinite suspension of this decision is due to the virus pandemic, as well as persistent glitches in the system used to process applications.

All 75 permits, which were intended for minority applicants, were scheduled for issuance on May 1, at the same time. Because of the executive order, some could be given theirs next month. Meanwhile, others could wait until August this year before they can be awarded their authorizations.

In explaining the need for the delay, former state senator and head of the state’s cannabis program Toi Hutchinson, said that it is needed in order to guarantee that there will be no error in the issuance of permits. It is also designed to avoid potential lawsuits from unsuccessful applicants.

Hutchinson recognized the effects of this order to those anticipating their licenses. He expressed his concern to individuals waiting for the decision, which could be having a hard time weathering the situation.

As mentioned, the 75 permits were intended to boost the number of minority-owned businesses. Currently, the state’s cannabis industry is dominated by white men and this measure sought to prioritize “social equity applicants.”

Block Club Chicago explained that interested parties can qualify as social equity applicants by ensuring that “at least 51% of an ownership group applying for a state license [lives] in an area most impacted by the war on drugs.” The same percentage should also have “been arrested or had a family member arrested for a cannabis-related offense.” The company should have over 10 full-time employees, with at least 51% of them qualifying for social equity status.

The delay also gave way to more issues regarding scoring. Applicants need to get a specific number of points to be considered successful. Those who get the same number of points are under tie-breaking rules, which expired on June 6. Because of the delay, it is unclear whether the permits will still be granted to those who won through the tie-breaking rules.

Cannabis Legalization

5 Ways to Support the Marijuana Legalization Movement

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Marijuana Legalization

The current state of cannabis legalization in the USA is a two-sided coin. On one side, 37 states have legalized medical marijuana, and on the other hand, 18 states where recreational use is legal. The fluctuation between these two numbers can be attributed to our country’s history with cannabis and their varying views on what should happen going forward. A recent report from CBS News found that 61% of Americans now favor legalization, up from 31% back in 2000. With public opinion shifting on this issue by leaps and bounds every year, there’s never been a better time than now to make your voice heard if you want to see an end to prohibition. 

As a cannabis enthusiast, you may be wondering how you can help the country push for 100% legalization (at least medically). We’ve prepared 5 ways you can actively support the legalization movement and get the country to a place where the fears and myths about this healing plant are trending in the right direction, which is legalization. 

1. Educate yourself about the benefits of marijuana

Marijuana is a plant that grows naturally in many regions of the world. It has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy and was first documented by ancient Chinese doctors as early as 2737 BC. The medicinal benefits of marijuana are now becoming more well known because it is now legal to use it medicinally in many states. Marijuana helps treat chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis or paraplegia (paralysis), seizures due to epilepsy, weight loss from HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment, PTSD symptoms, including flashbacks and nightmares related to trauma experienced during the military.

2. Let your voice be heard by contacting your representatives and letting them know how you feel

So you’re ready to do your civic duty and contact a representative about legalization? Great! Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your experience. 

Canberra Legalizes Cannabis
  • Find what issues matter most to you in this area of legislation, such as medical use or recreational use. Figure out which representatives cover these areas, then find their contact information and phone numbers.   
  • Call them up on the phone! Most importantly, be polite when speaking with them so they can understand where you’re coming from. It’s also important not to interrupt them while they are talking because it might make them feel like you don’t respect their opinion or time. 

3. Support local businesses that sell cannabis products

Cannabis products are now available in many stores and online. As cannabis becomes legalized, it is essential to support the communities that have been impacted by prohibition. One way you can do this is by supporting your local businesses that sell cannabis products. Another way is by raising awareness by wearing Legalize Marijuana Apparel to show your support!

4. Share articles on social media to raise awareness

Do you want to help legalize cannabis right now? If so, share articles like this one on social media! 

The reality is that cannabis prohibition has failed miserably to prevent the use of marijuana in society. Prohibition leads to a black market where consumers don’t know what they’re buying or who’s selling it, which causes serious health risks. Cannabis legalization will create jobs and generate revenue for states with legalized recreational marijuana while simultaneously reducing criminal activity associated with illegal drug distribution. These reasons are more than enough to warrant sharing posts like this on social media.

5. Vote for candidates who support marijuana legalization in the 2020 election 

America’s opioid epidemic is killing tens of thousands of people a year, and we are still struggling with the legalization of marijuana. It seems that the country has come to accept that medicinal marijuana can be a valuable treatment for specific conditions such as chronic pain or epilepsy. Still, there is a lot of confusion about whether it should be legal recreationally. The availability of medical cannabis could help reduce our dependence on these dangerous drugs. So do your civic duty and vote for candidates you align with and ones that support the legalization of cannabis. 

Conclusion

The movement to legalize marijuana is gaining momentum across the United States. More and more states are considering legalizing the recreational or medical use of cannabis, so we all need to support this change in the law to make a difference. We hope you take these 5 ways and create the change we wish to see in the world today!

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Cannabis Legalization

When Will Weed be Legal in Florida?

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When Will Weed be Legal in Florida

As of June 2021, 17 states in the United States have fully legalized the use of cannabis, including the District of Columbia. The rest, except four in which cannabis is fully illegal, have either decriminalized the plant, legalized medical cannabis, or a combination of both.

Florida is one of the states that has a mixed stand on the plant. It is legal for medicinal uses, but it is not yet decriminalized state-wide. So, for Floridians, the question is this: when will marijuana be legal in the state? Let us shed some light on this matter below.

The Current Status of Cannabis in Florida

When Will Weed be Legal in Florida

Today, only medical marijuana including medical cannabidiol (CBD) is legal in Florida. There are penalties and punishments in place for marijuana possession and sale offenders. People found with the plant can be charged with misdemeanor or felony, jail time of 1 year to 15 years, and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the scale.

Those who are caught selling can also be penalized, incarcerated, and fined within the same range. Again, the intensity of the punishment will depend on how much weed or plant is found, and whether they are within 1,000 feet of a school, college, park, and other particular areas.

The good news is, some counties across the state have locally decriminalized the plant, the oldest being Miami-Dade County which passed the decriminalization law in June 2015 through a city council resolution. No criminal charges will be given to offenders found carrying 20 grams of cannabis. Instead, they will be given a fine of $100.

Other counties that passed similar laws include Alachua, Broward, Cocoa Beach, Hallandale Beach, Key West, Miami Beach, Orlando, Palm Beach, Port Richey, Sarasota, Tampa, Volusia, and West Palm Beach. All of them have a limit of 20 grams and penalizes offenders either through a $100 fine, cite and release, or 10 hours of community service.

Latest Attempts at Legalization

When Will Weed be Legal in FL

So When Will Weed be Legal in Florida?

Floridian advocates of legalization have campaigned for a ballot initiative for the 2022 elections through the Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative. The proposal, sponsored by sensible Florida, Inc., sought to legalize the possession of up to one ounce of weed for residents aged 21 years and above. It also suggested to let residents own up to six plants, with only a maximum of three plants flowering or mature per household.

Ultimately, the ballot initiative sought to amend existing laws and regulate marijuana including the issuing, renewal, suspension, and revocation of licenses for cultivation, production, testing, and retail. If this initiative has been successfully added to the 2022 ballot, residents would be able to vote to legalize possession.

Unfortunately, the Florida Supreme Court voted 5-2 against the initiative. According to Chief Justice Charles Canady, the language used to write the proposal was misleading.

So, When Will Weed be Legal in Florida?

As mentioned, the latest attempts to legalize the possession of the plant in Florida failed. Keep in mind that this is only talking about the legalization of possession and not the full legalization of the plant. With this, it may take a few more years before Floridians can access legal weed in the state.

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Cannabis Legalization

Is Weed Legal in DC 2021?

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People often go to Google or ask Alexa for “weed delivery near me” in DC without knowing if it’s 100% legal. In 2021, weed laws can be somewhat confusing in the nation’s capital, and we hope that this article will help guide you through what is and what is not legal in the District of Columbia (DC). 

Weed has been consumed by many nations for centuries and has become a viable business opportunity for those willing to take on the legalities and red tape of owning a cannabis-based business. The ability to legally consume cannabis has opened up some lucrative opportunities for dispensaries, cultivation specialists, and smoke shops around the area, as well as weed delivery DC. To successfully navigate the space, you must know the laws. 

First off, let’s start with what is not a criminal violation in DC. 

In 2014, voters in the district approved to legalize the possession of small amounts of weed for personal use. This action is commonly known as the Personal Use Initiative or “Initiative 71”. The law was instated on February 26th of 2015. With the Personal Use Initiative in place, it is now legal for a person who is 21 years of age or older to:

  • Possess TWO (2) ounces of marijuana or less;
  • Transfer ONE ounce of marijuana or less to another person who is also at least 21 years of age or older, just as long as there is no payment made or any other exchange of goods or services. This is roughly interpreted as “gifting.” ;
  • Grow / Cultivate up to SIX (6) marijuana plants inside their residence. Of the 6, no more than THREE (3) can be mature;
  • Have in possession, marijuana-related products and paraphernalia such as rolling papers, blunt or cigar wrappers, pipes or bongs – that’s associated with an ounce or less of weed; or
  • Use marijuana on the grounds of private property.

Alternatively, here are a few points that people can still be arrested for under the current laws of DC:

  • The sale of any amount of marijuana to another person;
  • Having more than TWO (2) ounces of marijuana in one’s possession;
  • Operation of a motor vehicle or boat while under the influence of marijuana; or
  • Smoking, eating, or drinking marijuana in any public place such as public parks, streets, sidewalks, alleys, etc.

Those possessing marijuana that is not of the age of 21 or older can be arrested if they have more than 2 ounces of marijuana. If local authorities observe a person under the age of 21 with up to TWO (2) ounces of marijuana, it will be seized. Still, the person will not be arrested nor issued a citation or ticket. If a person states that they are 21 years of age or older but cannot prove their age with a valid identification card, they will be issued a warning ticket. The seized item(s) will be returned if the person brings in the warning ticket and proof of them being 21 years of age or older. This will need to be presented to the police station in the same district where the seizure occurred. This sequence should happen no sooner than 24 hours of seizure and no later than 21 days after. 

Individuals who have an authorized medical marijuana card (MMJ Card) from the District Department of Health can continue to possess up to TWO (2) ounces of medical marijuana per month. 

In Conclusion

It is always wise to be in the know when it comes to the laws in your area. For adults 21 years of age or older, the laws are more favorable than they have been in the past. Stay smart and consume marijuana under the guidance of local laws. You can safely and legally consume marijuana in DC and enjoy the many healing benefits of the cannabis Sativa plant.

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