Medical cannabis is experiencing some pretty significant changes under the new administration in New Mexico's state government, and we take a look into the implications of the new paradigm in this week's cover story. Topics include plant counts, the opioid crisis and the future of medpot. A highly anticipated public hearing also drew a crowd last week, and SFR was there to check out what the masses thought about potential rule changes. Keep scrolling for our monthly roundup of regional and internet news about all things cannabis. Thanks for reading.
SFR’s Cannabis News
New Mex State of Med
More plants, more patients and more priorities signal growth for cannabis biz
Soundoff On Cannabis Rules
Department of Health hears from producers and advocates on gaps in proposed rule changes
The Colorado Sun, the relatively new digital media outfit staffed by reporters who left the Denver Post after a hedge fund bought and gutted that paper, reports that Colorado is tightening up the projects that are funded by marijuana tax revenue. It used to be that policymakers could always dip their hands into the pot, but new rules say that only two silos can get cannabis revenue: education and the opioid crisis. Considering the state just passed $1 billion in revenue from sales of the good stuff, the Centennial State could probably do a lot focusing on those two issues.
Speaking of Colorado, Westword reports that the state is cooking up legislation that will allow even bigger investors to hop on board the cannabis train. Cannabis is increasingly one of the hottest investment opportunities in the world, despite the fact that operating between states is still an issue. Because it's still illegal federally, there are lots of roadblocks to big-money types throwing their hats in the ring—something that the new legislation hopes to address.
Arizona, like New Mexico, has thus far failed to get an adult use cannabis rule finished. But, also like New Mexico, supporters are gearing up to get it done in 2020. The state's last try at recreational use was in 2016 and it failed by a narrow margin, although advocates say plenty has changed. Unlike New Mexico, Arizona allows such things to be decided by a direct vote by the people. In order to appear on the ballot in November 2020, the initiative needs 237,000 signatures by next year.
Around the Web
Let us pray
A religious bookseller called Christian Book Distributors has been getting some unwelcome phone calls as a result of their initials. People looking to get CBD products are calling the organization so much that the 40-year-old business is changing its name to Christianbook. "A person may call up and say, 'Hey, I'm looking for my order,'" Ray Hendrickson, the CEO of CBD told the New York Times. "It's like, 'What did you order? Oh, I ordered gummies. You don't have the right company.'"
Also from the Times last week, the style section took a look at the history of the language surrounding cannabis, pot, weed, reefer or whatever you want to call it. (For the record, The Brief is an advocate of calling it "grass" again.) It also points out that investors and businessfolk are uncomfortable with a lot of the slang that surrounds the plant, preferring to simply call it cannabis. If you read our cover story, linked above, you will notice that we call it cannabis throughout. Quick poll: What's your preferred word?
The kids are alright
States that have legalized recreational cannabis have seen a drop in underage users, according to a new study. The paper's author says that researchers didn't find any drop associated with medical legalization, but states where adult-use is legal have seen an 8% drop in high-schoolers who reported using cannabis in the last 30 days, and a 9% drop in high-schoolers who used it more than 10 times over the same time period. As more and more upsides to legalization are identified, SFR will be watching the next legislative session closely. The governor has signaled that recreational legalization will be a priority. She also formed a task force to begin to get a bill put together before the session starts.