By Dalton Rosario
Today our 116th Congress met at the first cannabis hearing of the year to discuss the SAFE Banking Act, which aims to draft legislation that provides banks and credit unions with precautionary provisions for handling legitimate cannabis proceeds from licensed businesses without fear of being flagged by the federal government and IRS for money laundering and dealings with illicit criminal activity. This is a major step in ending federal prohibition, as all legal industries require the services of financial institutions, particularly for cash-heavy sectors like the cannabis industry. Not only does this increase the public safety and wellbeing of these businesses, their employees and our communities, but also it creates the necessary transparency for cannabis markets to be taxed, regulated and held accountable for the proceeds of their daily dealings at the state and federal level. Furthermore, by banks investing in local cannabis companies and providing financial resources and services, the cannabis industry will wholly embrace a previously unattainable level of standardization that has been lacking; making cannabis seem less like a favorable market commodity and more like a potential hazard and financial liability for those congressman, governors and state lawmakers who seek to pass pro-cannabis legislation but lack the infrastructure and support from our federal government to do so.
Local banks require protection in their dealings with cannabis companies, which have been by and large outright denied in their undertakings of standardized services that all other commercial industries have access to across the country. Whether that be in the form of unfavorable cash deposit rates, the inability to request a line of credit or restrictions on filing for annual tax exemptions based on U.S. Code Section 280E. Ending cannabis prohibition is not just administered through statewide legalization, but through policy reformation and legislative provisions impacting all satellite sectors and services surrounding the cash cow commodity that this bustling industry relies on. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, nearly 500 financial institutions across the country support cannabis businesses. And although this shows a rising support from Corporate America favoring the legitimacy of this estimated $50 Billion cannabis industry in just a few short years, as it stands only one-third of all licensed retailers, distributors and cultivators have reliable dealings with banks and credit unions. - An unheard of statistic with no parallels in our country's commercial marketplace.
By Dalton Rosario
Following Baltimore city’s top prosecutor Marilyn Mosby pledging that her office will end prosecuting possession-related cannabis arrests last week, Maryland is now the latest state to officially have passed cannabis legalization in the forms of possession, purchasing, consuming and cultivating. Individuals can legally carry up to an ounce of dry herb or five concentrate cartridges and home-grow up to four plants per household. Cannabis sales from licensed retailers will be taxed at a modest six percent, with state tax revenues being implemented in programs ranging from substance abuse and DWI prevention to K-12 and reparations for communities disproportionally targeted by law enforcement during cannabis prohibition; including expungements of current and prior possession and cultivation convictions.
As stated by Olivia Naugle, the Marijuana Policy Project’s Legislative Coordinator, in regards to pro-cannabis legislation passing in Maryland, “[cannabis] can be conducted by licensed, taxpaying businesses rather than criminal enterprises. This legislation would improve public health and safety [and] also have the bonus of generating significant new tax revenue for the state.” Maryland is a prime example of the green pendulum sweeping our nation. 2019 has proven to be a year of state lawmakers lining up to file recreational adult use cannabis bills for the benefits of surplus from immediate tax revenues to be allocated and reinvested directly into state programs, while also providing a means of reparations for communities impacted most dearly from cannabis abuses during prohibition.
By Dalton Rosario
Starting this week in Baltimore all cannabis offenses short of federal possession with intent to distribute will be charged as a misdemeanor. And as restitutions are concerned, arrest rates as far back as 2011 will be given expungement, and all current cases will be dropped and dismissed into diversion programs. Top prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore State’s Attorney said recently, “No one who is serious about public safety can honestly say that spending our resources to jail people for marijuana is a smart way to use our limited time and money.”
The motivation behind this response is recurrent from the war on drugs’ explicit history of ethnic and racial segregation and how this has affected countless communities disproportionally for decades. In Baltimore, an analysis of police data released by the Baltimore Fishbowl claims that out of the 1,514 documented cannabis-related possession cases between 2015 and 2017, 96% of these charges involved African Americans.
Statistics like this project the harsh, simple truth fueling the war on drugs for the past decade; and more purposefully, it provides a substantial framework for arranging cannabis reformation in immediate fashion. If these wrongs can be corrected in Maryland, then we can all model Baltimore's legislation as a prototype for lawmakers nationwide. Maryland homes half the population of nearby states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, yet ranks seventh highest in the country for statewide possession-related cannabis arrests. A grotesque 90% of cannabis arrests are possession based, accounting for half of all drug arrests within the state. But not anymore in the city of Baltimore, where 30% of the population was targeted for 90% of cannabis crimes.
By Dalton Rosario
Earlier in January President Trump’s U.S. Attorney General nominee William Barr openly addressed his stance on supporting cannabis companies that have lawfully complied with state policies and regulations legalizing recreational and/or medicinal cannabis under the Cole Memorandum. This news was well received by cannabis advocates, lawmakers and industry leaders who were reluctant on what to make of William Barr’s stance towards cannabis legalization, particularly after former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions who was vehemently opposed to any forms of cannabis legislation, to the point of rescinding the Obama-era Cole Memorandum in January 2018.
To those unfamiliar with the Cole Memo, it is an invaluable piece of legislation that catapulted the cannabis market into a viable national industry by granting the Justice Department orders to not enforce federal prohibition within states that had “legalized marijuana in some form and… implemented strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to control the cultivation, distribution, sale and possession of marijuana.” Although full-proof for all practical purposes, the Department of Justice was also granted discretionary leeway to enforce federal prohibition within states that have legalized cannabis, as long as doing so prevents violence related to the cultivation and/or distribution of cannabis, reduces cannabis-related DWI’s, and discontinues revenues from getting into the hands of gangs or cartel networks.
Based on Barr’s written response to Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), AG nominee Barr supports “the expansion of marijuana manufacturers for scientific research consistent with the law,” increasing the number of institutions permitted to grow cannabis specifically for the purpose of medical research. This would be done by Barr overturning Sessions’ ban on the Department of Justice moving forward with any of its stalled applications for medical facility growers. Furthermore, Barr pledged to look into scientific evaluations of CBD and its rescheduling under the Controlled Substances Act, based upon federal acceptance of hemp-derived products lawfully manufactured under the 2018 Farm Bill. Given Barr’s written confirmation supporting cannabis initiatives, in the words of Don Murphy, Director of Federal Policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, “William Barr didn’t just wave the white flag, he signed a peace agreement.”
By Dalton Rosario
Washington D.C. has been barred for years by a rider blocking the city from allotting its own tax dollars towards regulating recreational cannabis for adults. Current legislation permits personal cannabis to be cultivated at home in an amount of up to 6 plants. As well, possession of up to 2 ounces by residents aged 21 or over is lawful. In addition, up to an ounce of cannabis can be “gifted” or transferred from one person to another as long as both parties are at least 21 years or older. However, no money, goods or services can be exchanged in return, and cannabis cannot be consumed on public property. Even though these laws have been enforced for half a decade, still to this day residents cannot legally purchase recreational cannabis in retail dispensaries.
This is largely due to a series of Republican-dominated Congresses extending federal legislation blocking D.C. from spending its own tax dollars to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults, but with the pending partial government shut down, this very legislation is temporarily expired and can be worked around by Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D). To do so she would have to immediately pass legislation that legalizes recreational cannabis sales, or risk waiting until the next fiscal year starting in October. As outlined in a public appearance made by Bowser two months prior, “We have an untenable situation in the District that I believe makes us unsafe… As long as we have the ability to possess marijuana, which is our law, we also need the ability to procure marijuana legally, which we don’t have now.” She sheds light upon a logical fallacy as the law stands, and derives a reasonable conclusion given the legality of cannabis possession throughout the district. With this in mind, the question remains if it is too bold a maneuver to undermine federal law by passing recreational legalization at such a time as this; despite being exactly what the green wave needs to end the war against cannabis in our Nation's Capital.
Over the years since our country was founded, there have been a number of movements that the populace has eventually rallied around and fought for. We’ve had our initial fight for freedom against Great Britain. The fight against slavery. The fight for civil rights. More recently, the fight for gay marriage. Each of these moments in American history had its opponents. Sometimes these opponents have attacked other constitutional rights in a balls to the wall effort to carry the day, no matter what freedom is infringed upon.
So it is with the legalization movement. More recently, in the state of Illinois, nearly two years after a decision was reached that medical marijuana users could own firearms, four residents and medical users were told by the state that their firearms licenses would be taken away. The agency sending the letters has spoken out about this and rescinded those letters. It also removed language on its website asking firearm owners if they were medical marijuana card holders. The state police agency responsible for this claims that this was all a mistake. However, Tyler Anthony, with the Canna Law Group states the following,” The opposite is probably true. Even taking their word for it, they shouldn’t be careless with citizens’ constitutional rights, especially when their position lacks any clear legal basis.”
The movement to legalize cannabis has its roots in our constitutional freedoms. It doesn’t surprise anyone that there are those opposing the will of the people in this area who would be willing to usurp other constitutional rights in an effort to win the day, or make sure that Big Pharma continues to be paid. The movement has made significant strides in the past few years, but the incident in Illinois reminds us that the struggle is still ongoing, that some are willing to encroach on our freedoms in other ways to influence final outcomes, and that we need to be vocal and vigilant. We won’t accept anything less than a final and full legalization without any retaliation or penalty elsewhere. Period.
Source- Associated Press, Chicago.
The Stashtray Starter Kit is the perfect way to customize your Stashtray at an affordable price. The kit includes the all stainless-steel rolling tray, two strain containers, and a spike ashtray with bowl stand. Complete with a sheet of magnetic stickers to keep your rolling papers and other accessories in one accessible place.
This kit includes everything you need for an efficient ritual. The stainless steel tray is accompanied by one strain container, a 4 chamber Myster grinder, a magnetic lighter case, and the ashtray with cleaning spike and bowl stand. We have also included a sheet of extra magnetic stickers and a microfiber cleaning cloth to keep your Stashtray neat, clean, and organized.
The upper echelon of rolling trays has arrived. The First Full Edition bundle features the finest of tools for those who take their sessions seriously. In addition to all of the necessities from the all-in-one tray kit, this bundle also includes a magnetic dabber, a Myster non-stick mat, and a first edition book. The book allows you to very cleverly and discreetly pack up everything and place it on your shelf. It's like a liquor cabinet for those who enjoy other fine things...
Photo Credit: Bloomburg
Cannabis cocktails are the latest experiment with cannabis cuisine. This latest craze of infusing alcohol with marijuana is sometimes more than just a process of putting some weed in some wine. It can take anywhere from days to hours to infuse alcohol with wine. The latest commercial crazes with alcohol involve specifically choosing flavors to bring out the taste of the buds.
Although marijuana is legal recreationally in some states in the USA now, we are still some time away from having bud get-togethers at bars and clubs.
If you prefer to replace your alcohol with buds for a healthier alternative, there are also cocktails for you non-drinkers out there. These are bud infused cocktails that have fruity additives and don’t contain any alcohol at all. So that way you can enjoy a healthier alternative to alcohol, and get the medicinal benefits of marijuana, too!
- Read the entire article at The Stoners Cookbook
Every year we watch each holiday season sometimes bring on one level of stress after another. Whether it's last minute shopping or trying to make sure that someone will like that "perfect" gift, it's easy to lose focus on why we do what we do during the season. Here at Myster, we'd like to help. We've put together a list of our favorite products from our own high end line. Each one can help remind us of what the season is about when we take the time to slow down, light up and get lost in our rituals. Enjoy!
Voted one of the top 20 holiday gifts by The Cannabist, the Stashtray truly is the best rolling tray on the market. It includes the stainless steel tray, 2 strain storage containers, ash tray with pipe spike and bowl stand, lighter case, and a sheet of magnetic stickers. This is a great starter kit for someone who already has a grinder. For those looking to customize their Stashtray, this is the most affordable way to start!
This customizable dry herb and wax vaporizer, comes complete with an all ceramic convection chamber with two glass shotgun shell inserts for concentrates. With a quick heating time and fully adjustable temperature settings, the Shotgun blasts through concentrates like no other portable vaporizer ever! Additional specs include a OLED screen and 2600mAh battery.
Hands down, this is the best wax attachment on the market today. The large chamber area allows the vapor to cool and provides maximum flavor. This item is fabricated with stainless steel construction, scratch resistant glass, and replaceable titanium coil.
Quoted as being "one beautiful piece of machinery" by The Travel Joint, the sleek and discreet Fogpen is a must have this season for an on the go ritual. The 3-in-1 high end kit includes everything you need to be vaping dry herb, wax, and e-liquids - all nicely concealed as a fine writing instrument.
Introducing the newest addition to the Myster family - The Slick. A perfect stocking stuffer as a small, sleek concentrate vaporizer with an all ceramic coil. Complete with a non-stick jar, dabber, and USB charger, this kit is a value that even Scrooge can approve.
Made of aircraft grade aluminum, this 4 chamber grinder is tough as nails and gets the job done. The screen features larger holes to gather pollen more quickly and reduce any unnecessary build up. Available in 4 colors, this is the best looking and most functional grinder you have ever owned.
Whether you're shopping for someone you love or treating yourself to a bit of luxury, we hope your season is merry and bright!
A new Gallup poll shows that the majority of Americans support legalization of recreational marijuna use for the third consecutive year. A significant majority of Americans have supported legalization of Medical marijuana for many years. Increasingly, recreational legalization is becoming a mainstream position held by a broad range of advocacy groups and policy makers.
Influential conservative think tank, the CATO institute, calls legalization a “no-brainer.” Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who is currently leading polls in New Hampshire for the Democratic primary, supports ending the national prohibition against marijuana. The newly elected Canadian government is expected to legalize recreational use federally in the next two years.
Support is not universal, to be certain. The White House still strongly opposes recreational legalization. Out of the 14 major players in the current US presidential election, 6 are staunchly opposed, 7 remain unclear, and only 1 has professed reticent support. For the candidates with undecided views on legalization, they largely suggest a “wait and see” approach observing how Colorado and Washington fare. After two years, recent polls show continued majority support in Colorado where legalization measures have passed (not to mention an additional 70 Million in tax revenue - nearly twice that of alcohol). The momentum, it would appear, is building in favor of legalization.