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Omar Sacirbey

Omar has been a professional journalist since 1998, covering everything from international business and Wall Street to politics and religion. His stories have appeared in Newsweek International, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today and other major outlets. Omar graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1998, and prior to that he was a Bosnian diplomat. He is based in Boston.


Senate filibuster hobbles Nebraska medical marijuana legalization measure

A bill aimed at legalizing medical marijuana in Nebraska did not move forward in the state Senate after backers reported they couldn’t get enough votes to end a filibuster by opponents. The measure’s sponsor, state Sen. Anna Wishart, said she was “very doubtful that I will get 33 (votes)” and she was looking toward a […]

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Long-awaited medical marijuana sales begin in Arkansas

Arkansas’ first medical marijuana dispensary opened Saturday, marking the debut of  MMJ sales roughly 2½ years after voters approved a legalization referendum in 2016. Doctors Orders Rx in Hot Springs opened its doors and was quickly followed Sunday morning by Green Springs Medical, also in Hot Springs, according to Little Rock TV station KLRT. Green Springs […]

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What can cannabis learn from the tech industry? Q&A with ex-Yahoo CEO and current Caliva chair Carol Bartz

Carol Bartz has had a front-row seat to the nation’s technology boom dating back decades. The former Yahoo CEO sees parallels between today’s cannabis industry and high tech. “It’s like being back in tech 20 years ago,” Bartz told CNBC earlier this year. “It’s like so much growth potential, so many ways to change people’s lives, […]

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Congressional group urges feds to speed research into medical cannabis

A bipartisan group of 30 members of Congress on Tuesday sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Uttam Dhillion, the acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, urging their agencies to speed research into medical marijuana instead of impeding it. Specifically, the lawmakers asked the agencies to approve at least one of 26 applications seeking […]

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Marijuana investor grants Harvard, MIT $9 million to study MMJ

A major cannabis industry investor has made what is thought to be one of the largest private donations to study marijuana’s health effects. It’s a move that could prove beneficial for the cannabis industry at large by spurring research in the United States and perhaps increasing medical marijuana’s acceptance among physicians. Charles R. Broderick, managing […]

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New Mexico governor signs legislation that could boost MMJ sales

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation that makes some notable changes to the state’s medical marijuana law and could boost sales for MMJ businesses, including retailers and manufactures. The state’s health department will have to draft regulations for some of the new rules, according to the New Mexico Political Report. Key changes include: Reciprocity: […]

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Chief appointed for new Michigan cannabis agency

Michigan tapped its top medical marijuana regulator to lead the newly created Marijuana Regulatory Agency, which is responsible for the state’s medical and recreational marijuana programs. Andrew Brisbo, director of Michigan’s Bureau of Marijuana Regulation in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, must be confirmed by the state Senate, but observers don’t expect opposition. […]

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MA regulators investigate licensing limits of cannabis firms Acreage, Sea Hunter

Massachusetts regulators are scrutinizing whether cannabis companies Acreage Holdings and Sea Hunter Therapeutics violated state limits on how many marijuana business licenses a single entity can own, according to The Boston Globe. News of the investigation comes on the heels of a report from the newspaper that questioned whether the two companies controlled an excess […]

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Maine appoints head of adult-use marijuana program

Maine hired Scott Lever, the state’s deputy commissioner of Health Services, to oversee its recreational cannabis program. In his previous position, Lever was in charge of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which once oversaw the state medical marijuana program. In 2017, he testified against a recreational marijuana bill before the legislative committee […]

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New Jersey medical cannabis patient count surges 150% since January 2018

New Jersey’s medical marijuana program has seen a 150% increase in the number of patients participating since Gov. Phil Murphy took office early last year, a development that has no doubt bolstered sales at the state’s MMJ businesses. The program has added 25,500 patients since January 2018 and now has more than 42,500 patients participating, […]

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Suspended Massachusetts medical marijuana store allowed to open again

A medical cannabis dispensary in Acton, Massachusetts, that was ordered by the state to temporarily close, has been given permission to reopen its doors. Massachusetts marijuana regulators had ordered Mass Wellspring to close on Feb. 7 because of several stated violations. “We have worked diligently to update our policies, security coverage and labeling to comply with the […]

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