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Pot Shots: As Pot Legalization Gets Ever Closer, Obstacles Like the Filibuster Remain

PARTY TIME: Though a growing number of congress members support legalization, opposition remains bipartisan. Photo Courtesy of Sen. Joe Manchin's office

Before the runoff U.S. Senate elections in Georgia earlier this month, most pot advocates were ready to accept that the GOP and Mitch McConnell would hold on to the upper chamber, meaning that any substantive reform of federal cannabis laws would have to wait at least two years. Those advocates were–completely understandably–pessimistic.… » Read More

Pot Shots: Cannabis Cult

BELIEVERS: Anne Armstrogn and Alan Gordon, leaders of The Healing Church, a cannabis-based Christian sect located in Rhode Island.  Photo by Julian Borger/The Guardian

Cannabis and spiritually have always been intertwined, with various degrees of validity and seriousness. It was used as an entheogen (a psychoactive substance used in religious practices) as far back as ancient India, and some Hindus still consume bhang, an elixir that contains cannabis, in their spiritual practices. The Buddhist Mahakala Tantra… » Read More

Pot Shots: Growth Spurt

LIKE A WEED: Part of the cannabis industry's growth in 2020 is from states that have made the plant legal. Photo courtesy of Rep. Don Evans (D-Pa)

The pandemic has brought the cannabis industry a strange mix of outcomes—things that were to be expected alongside surprises both good and bad. Now, as a vaccine rolls out, few know what to expect in 2021 and beyond. It wasn’t surprising cannabis sales took off after stay-at-home orders were issued last spring… » Read More

Pot Shots: Frozen In Time

DEJA VU: Cannabis industry insiders are starting 2021 with the same goals that were left behind in 2020 due to Covid-19. Illustration by Creatifolio via Shutterstock.

As 2020 dawned, most observers of the California cannabis industry expected it to be an eventful year for the legal-weed business and it was–but not in a way that anybody expected. Over a swoon-inducing couple of weeks in March, when Bay Area and state officials issued shutdown orders as the Covid-19 pandemic… » Read More

Pot Shots: Into the Void

STUDY HALL:  A cannabis researcher at work at U.C. San Diego's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. Photo Courtesy of U.C. San Diego

Research, or the lack of it, is one not insignificant reason the cannabis industry is in the strange stage of limbo it’s lived in for years: bifurcated, highly restricted with different rules from state-to-state and without much opportunity for grants to deepen our understanding of the plant. But if two bills making… » Read More

High Cost: Cannabis Insiders Focus On 2021 After This Year Failed To Bring Lower Taxes

SPECIAL BLEND: Pot industry insiders talk reform, including combining three cannabis licensing agencies and lowering taxes during the Spark Sessions podcast. Photo Courtesy of Spark Sessions podcast.

As 2020 crawls to a close, the California pot industry is looking back with a mix of relief and chagrin at a year that was supposed to be filled with big strides, but was instead filled with relatively small wins. Industry relief comes in the form of the state deeming pot an… » Read More

Pot Chamber: MORE Act’s Passage Is A Bigger Deal For Congress Than It May Seem

SMOKE OUT: If two close U.S. Senate elections in Georgia go for the Democrats, current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would lose the power to head off votes on pot legalization at a critical moment.

The U.S. House last week passed the MORE Act, marking the first time a federal legislative body has voted to remove cannabis from the criminal code. Just weeks ago, the move might have been called a historic event, but an empty exercise, because the Senate as it’s currently composed is unlikely to… » Read More