It’s a new year but the cannabis industry continues to roll on. As we enter into 2021, the country is breathing a collective sigh of relief, hoping to heal the wounds of the past year. But the turning of the calendar doesn’t mean all our problems will magically go away. In the meantime, here’s the top cannabis stories as we enter into the early days of the new year.
Illinois erases 500,000 low-level cannabis charges (The Independent)
The Independent writes: “The governor of Illinois has erased nearly 500,000 cannabis-related criminal records in the state.
J B Pritzker cleared the state’s non-felony marijuana cases, along with 9,219 low-level cannabis convictions to start 2021.
The Democratic politician signed legislation in 2019 legalising recreational marijuana use in Illinois, which started last year.
That allowed for almost 770,000 state residents to have marijuana-related offences expunged, which sees a record of criminal conviction destroyed or sealed from state or federal records.”
Ontario missing small amount of legal cannabis; vetting consultants extended (Marijuana Business Daily)
MJBizDaily writes: “A small amount of legal recreational cannabis products in Ontario have gone unaccounted for, according to the provincial regulator responsible for adult use in Canada’s largest market.
Roughly 1,428 units of cannabis products were “lost or stolen” out of 13.6 million units in the provincial supply channel from September 2019 to July 2020, a spokesperson for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) told Marijuana Business Daily.
MJBizDaily asked the AGCO about the missing products after Ontario’s auditor general called out the provincial cannabis retail regulator last month for not properly monitoring cannabis inventory.
“While ‘leakage’ is often a common occurrence in any retail environment, we would conduct an audit and/or investigation to assess what happened to the product and the root cause,” the AGCO spokesperson said.”
Missouri Republican Wants Recreational Cannabis Program, No Caps On Dispensaries (St. Louis Public Radio)
SL Public Radio writes: “Missouri Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, prefiled a measure to amend the state constitution to legalize recreational cannabis.
In addition to allowing adults 21 and older to use the drug, Dogan said, his proposal would be an important step toward criminal justice reform.
“It expunges the records of people who’ve been convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses and has anyone who's incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana offense be released from prison,” Dogan said.
Dogan said he is the first in the majority party to file a recreational cannabis bill. While the House has taken up proposals in past sessions, the Senate has been reluctant to do so. Dogan said he is confident his proposal will get the traction it needs to make it to the floors of both chambers for discussion.”
Early-morning raid reveals cannabis grow worth an estimated $1.7 million (The Growth Op)
The GO writes: “A National Police Air Service helicopter was recently enlisted as part of Metropolitan Police’s operation to help take down a £1 million ($1.7 million) weed grow-op in southeast London believed to be lining the pockets of criminals.
The chopper was used to carry out reconnaissance of the illegal cultivation site, located on the morning of Dec. 30 inside a 32,000 sq. ft. commercial unit.”
Mexico Set to Become World’s Largest Legal Cannabis Market (Wall Street Journal)
The WSJ writes: “Mexico is home to the world’s most powerful drug cartels, who have terrorized the country for years. But the country is poised to try something different in tackling the gangs by legalizing at least one of their products: marijuana.
Mexico is set to become the world’s largest legal cannabis market as its Congress wraps up legislation in the coming weeks to legalize pot throughout the supply chain, from farming to distribution and consumption.
Mexico’s Senate passed a bill in late November legalizing recreational marijuana. Lawmakers in the lower house say they will approve a bill by February, though they want to raise the amount of pot consumers may possess in public beyond the Senate bill’s limit of 28 grams, or about an ounce.”