Weekly Wrapup: Medical Marijuana All Over the Board + a Call to Overhaul California Cannabis Laws

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Our top news from last week highlights just how inconsistent attitudes, policies and perceptions of medical cannabis – and marijuana in general – have become.

Ok, ok, it’s always been that way. But it’s even more so now.

On one hand, we have states that pioneered the medical marijuana movement now trying to turn back the clock and stamp out MMJ providers. On the other hand, we’re seeing medical marijuana gain a foothold in some states where the issue previously languished, which could open up new markets for vendors and suppliers to the industry.

This is exactly what’s playing out Montana, California, New York and Colorado.

In Montana, where dispensaries once flourished, the medical cannabis industry is on the decline. As MMJ Business Daily reported, patient numbers continue to plunge this year as dispensaries close amid federal and local pressure. Local politicians and the public have rallied against MMJ after the industry spiraled out of control, and the industry’s very future is at risk.

Then we have California, where a U.S. attorney helping to lead the charge against medical marijuana businesses called the MMJ industry an “unregulated free-for-all” and outlined a plan to target large-scale commercial pot farms next.

Move a couple thousand miles east and the situation is different. In New York City, council members gave the green light on a proposal to offer support to a bill that would legalize the possession and use of medical marijuana. Even if the bill – which is currently in the legislature – doesn’t end up passing, the fact that the vast majority of New York City Council members support MMJ laws signals that the nation’s cultural and business capital could be moving closer to fully accepting the idea of medical marijuana.

Give it another year or two, and we might see dispensaries in the Big Apple.

Now let’s move to Colorado, where a measure asking voters to legalize marijuana for general use received enough valid signatures to appear on the November ballot. This happened despite that fact that some communities have been banning dispensaries as residents complain about rundown and shabby storefronts adorned with neon pot leafs, shady characters wandering the neighborhood and the public perception of these shops. But
perhaps the average, everyday citizen has come to the conclusion that marijuana in general is not the boogeyman it’s been made out to be.

Be sure to check out our other top story from last week as well:
Guest Column: California Needs MMJ Overhaul