Marijuana news is all over the news!
Marijuana news today is trending more than ever, with frequent medical marijuana news and updates regarding marijuana legalization and buzz-worthy stories of recreational cannabis use (wherever it is has been legalized) across North America.
Treatment of cannabis by the law is evolving rapidly. Even some barristers and courtroom judges are having trouble keeping up on their knowledge of federal and provincial/territorial level bud-related laws and regulation. For some lawyers, it might hardly be reason to retake the bar, while for others—and their clients—it can mean the difference between a 30-day and a 1-year prison sentence.
Recently in Sarnia, for example, a student was convicted of selling cannabis and then sentenced to a year in prison for possession of slightly less than 100 grams of cannabis and approximately $300 in cash, after the police raided his home.
The judge erroneously sentenced the defendant, Trevor Munroe, who had pleaded guilty, and then lawyers for both the defendant and the prosecution, unaware of the actual legal punishment, filed no dispute of any kind. However, even the 30-day sentence might be acknowledged as harsh, especially for an admittedly small crime and relatively miniscule quantity of pot that was sold to begin with.
Fortunately, another lawyer not covering the case reposted Munroe’s story and the judge’s ruling on Facebook. The lawyer’s legal buddies began to weigh in, and after it was publicized that Munroe’s cannabis possession was significantly below the quantity which stipulates a more serious sentence—at 3 kilos, not the approximate 3 ounces found during the raid—he was then set free.
It is likely Munroe’s sentence will be commuted if, or when, he is re-sentenced.
Industry Medical Marijuana News
The commercial cannabis industry also warrants close coverage. The growing and selling of dried medicinal cannabis by licensed producers (and commercialized product derivatives of cannabis, such as marijuana edibles, honey butane oil, marijuana tonics and tinctures) is a multi-billion dollar industry. Within Canada, the sale of dried marijuana buds or flowers generates millions of dollars in revenue for what are, according to Health Canada, over 38,000 registered users.
In 2014, according to analytics by Midas Letter journal, the demand for cannabis consumption sourced by federally licensed medicinal cannabis producers was estimated at approximately $173 million—and that’s marijuana news today. Over the next 10 years, the same market for pot could continue to grow (with other factors at play) to an estimated $1.8 billion, with a predicted pot user base of 400,000 or more.
And what about Denver news?
The Colorado marijuana market, which opened in January 2014 for buyers that are at least 21 years of age, brought in $76 million alone in tax revenue and additional licensing and fees, and then $699 million for the aggregate sales of both recreational and medicinal cannabis. According to coverage analysis by the Washington Post, last year’s medicinal cannabis sales still surpassed those of recreational pot by $75 billion.