Cannabis News Week: States Becoming More Weed Friendly

California just enacted protections for cannabis users and the industry, and two-thirds of Pennsylvania voters want marijuana to be legal there.

California is doing its best to solidify its status as a marijuana friendly state with Gov. Gavin Newsom signing 10 different weed-related bills into law this week. 

One of the biggest changes is SB 1326 which creates a process for the state to enter into agreements with other states to allow cross-state cannabis transactions.

Now local jurisdictions in California can’t prevent the transportation of cannabis or cannabis products on public roads by a licensee transporting product in compliance with the amendment. 

Newsom also signed a bill that would bar employers from discriminating against workers who use weed “off the job and away from the workplace.” California will become the seventh state in the country to protect workers in that way when the law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024. 

Drug screenings as part of a condition of employment are still legal, as long as the tests don’t screen for “nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites.” 

“For too many Californians, the promise of cannabis legalization remains out of reach,” Newsom said. “These measures build on the important strides our state has made toward this goal, but much work remains to build an equitable, safe and sustainable legal cannabis industry.”

You can see the full slate of new cannabis-related bills signed by the governor here.

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Pennsylvania Voters Support Legalization

Two-thirds of Pennsylvania voters support marijuana legalization in the state, according to a new CBS News survey

The 66% of voters in favor of legalization represent an 8 point increase over a previous poll taken in April 2021. Just 34% of voters remain opposed to legalization. 

“It’s just the right thing to do. Education, after-school programs, affordable housing, things of that nature and investing that money and creating jobs and helping communities who were hit the hardest by the prohibition,” state Rep. Amen Brown, who is the sponsor of a legalization bill in the state, said.

The state of Minnesota could be losing up to $46 million in tax revenue by not taxing newly legal edible cannabis products, according to a new study. 

The state legalized edible cannabis product in July, but the legislation that made it legal had no tax provisions in it, leading to research from the University of Minnesota-Duluth that found that the state could be losing out on tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue. 

“If Minnesota were to implement a cannabis tax, the state would have a new source of money that could be used to benefit the state and its residents,” the study said, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “Perhaps the legislature will consider this opportunity in future legislative sessions.”

The UMD study based its figure on the growth in legal cannabis tax revenues from other states, including Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon. 

iPhone Health Update for Cannabis

You know cannabis has hit the mainstream when Apple  (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report is updating its software to include provisions for the drug. 

The newest version of Apple’s Health app on iOS 16 allows users to track how their medications might interact with other substances, including weed, alcohol and tobacco. 

The Health app in the U.S. will let users point their iPhone camera at a pharmaceutical label to add a medication. The app will then send an alert if there are potential “critical interactions with their medications.”

There are nearly 400 known interactions between prescribed medicines and marijuana, 26 of which are categorized as major,” Marijuana Moment reported, citing Drugs.com. 

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