Category: Marijuana Industry News

Teen marijuana use in Colorado down post-legalization

Regular marijuana use among Colorado middle and high school students declined after the start of legal cannabis sales to adults in the state, new federal data show.

The latest results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health align with data collected thus far by Colorado and, as such, seem to provide some added reassurance to state regulators seeking a key goal in this first-of-its kind effort: Keep marijuana out of the hands of kids and teens.

In 2015 to 2016, 9.08 percent of Colorado youths, aged 12 to 17, reported using marijuana in the month prior to being surveyed, according to the report. During the 2014-2015 period, 11.13 percent of youths that age reported using marijuana in the previous month. The survey said the decline in use is statistically significant, meaning that it likely really happened and isn’t the result of a mathematical blip.

Colorado voters legalized marijuana for recreational use by adults in 2012, but sales at stores did not begin until 2014.

In 2008 and 2009, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 10.17 percent of kids in Colorado ages 12 to 17 said they used marijuana in the previous month. While the newer numbers also show a decline since that period, the overall trend is considered to be flat because it didn’t have enough statistical certainty.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health is published by a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It releases state data in two-year averages to account for small sample sizes in some states.

“I think the data reflects the trends we were seeing in the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey,” said Mark Bolton, marijuana adviser and senior deputy legal counsel to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “I think we’re encouraged by the numbers.”

This story is updating

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Happy Holidays Unlikely for Canada’s Senators

Provincial and territorial finance ministers met for a second time Monday to negotiate how revenue from legal marijuana will be shared. Although the marijuana meeting did not have high hopes for a resolution anytime soon, a surprising deal was struck as the feds offered a generous 70 percent (70 cents on every dollar).

On Nov. 10, the federal government announced a proposal to tax legal cannabis at $1 per gram, with all revenue split 50-50 between the provinces and the feds. This declaration quickly prompted opposition from provinces and municipalities that claim they should receive the lion’s share of the money. Their reasoning stems from the knowledge that local and provincial governments are doing most of the heavy lifting regarding the logistics of legalization. These tasks include training law enforcement, constructing retail outlets, and various other regulatory and oversight expenses.

Although the provinces and municipalities have been publicly griping about the tax revenue split for some time now, the various finance ministers have been “cautiously optimistic” about reaching a satisfactory deal after heavy negotiation this month.

Meanwhile, at the federal level, the marijuana bill has its own set of challenges that could put a lump of coal in Prime Minister Trudeau’s stocking.

Bill C-45 recently passed the House of Commons and is now with the Senate. At this stage in the political process, the Senate should simply provide checks and balances on the bill, but Conservative senators are seemingly holding up the legislation on purpose.

“I think we have to do our job properly, and that means months,” said Conservative Senator Claude Carignan. “The House took eight months to study, it will probably take the same timeline to do our job properly.”

Currently, provincial governments are negotiating contracts, selecting retail locations, and making business deals with licensed producers to ensure the market is ready for Canadians by the July deadline. If that timeframe were to be missed by a few months, the costs could be extreme.

Although the Senate is not supposed to operate with a political bias, some Senators are convinced this move by the Conservatives is intentional. “This is the opposition trying to throw a [wrench] into the works of government,” said Independent Senator Frances Lankin, who was appointed by Trudeau.

Senators are scheduled to begin debate on Bill C-45 when Parliament returns from holiday break Jan. 18.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett

 

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Mainstream alert: You can buy a weed-leaf Christmas tree from Walmart

In a sign of the mainstreaming of marijuana in the United States, consumers can purchase “the original Weed Christmas Tree” at walmart.com.

The tree is seven feet tall, and according to the description, comes with “realistic marijuana leaves” — but sadly not the ornaments and bow pictured here.

walmart marijuana treeLooks legit. (Screenshot from Walmart.com archived December 11, 2017)

The description on walmart.com says:

This Pot Leaf Christmas tree will “light up” the room and put your mind in the right head-space for holiday cheer. You’ll be able to relax and giggle at the marijuana leaves and decorate it as you please. This alternative Christmas tree is perfect for personal top shelf life at home or as a medical dispensary decoration. Green Wishes and Happy Holidhaze!

The tree is sold and shipped by Brands On Sale, Inc, a costume and novelty company. The tree appears to be the only item they are selling on Walmart’s site.

The tree will set you back $250 that you could have spent on real marijuana. But Walmart says it comes with “Free Shipping!” and will arrive by December 22, so you still have time to purchase what’s sure to become a cherished holiday tradition in your own home.


Looking for more marijuana Christmas gifts? Check out The Cannabist’s ultimate 2017 holiday gift guide.

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