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Oklahoma halts petition to legalize recreational marijuana

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Petition to legalize recreational marijuana suffers a withdrawal due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A group advocating legalization of recreational marijuana in Oklahoma had to retire its petition after facing difficulties in collecting signatures amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

This is the second time a petition to legalize recreational marijuana has been halted before qualifying for the November ballots.

The first obstruction was faced in December of 2019, whereby organizers of the petition withdrew it for revision. The decision was propelled by concerns over the impact the petition will have on medical marijuana businesses and children who were currently receiving treatment.

Under the new revised manifesto of the petition, recreational marijuana was to be legalized for adults 21 or older. In addition to this, it had also proposed some criminal justice reforms under which convicts would have been allowed to seek modifications, reversal or expungement of minor marijuana related crimes. The petition had also proposed a 15% excise tax on all recreational marijuana sales. The returns were to be directed towards schools and rehabilitation centers for addicts, without altering existing funding.

Advocates and organizers of the petition were hoping to gain a lot through the proposed terms of their appeal.

Oklahoma has already emerged as a promising market for medicinal marijuana after its legalization in 2018. According to Marijuana Business Factbook, Oklahoma medical cannabis sales will hit $700 million-$860 million in 2020.

With these promising results, associating high hopes with the recreational sales was almost inevitable.

Why was the petition withdrawn?

In order to qualify for the November 3 ballots, the deadline of August 24 was proposed by the secretary of state’s office. However, the required signature count of 180,000 was considered a difficult target to achieve with social distancing at play.

Oklahoma was under a state of emergency since March 15 of 2020. Following that, Oklahoma Secretary of State Micheal Rogers adjourned the signature gathering process until the state of emergency was lifted.

“Oklahoman’s are encouraged to limit their social interactions and stay home for the duration of the state of emergency. As such, signature-gathering activities should halt immediately until the declaration of emergency is affirmatively withdrawn. It would be irresponsible for anyone to try to collect signatures in this environment,” said Roger’s. “It would put signature collectors in danger and it would put the general public in danger.”

The entire petition process was slowed down to the extent that qualifying for the November ballot seemed too far-fetched.  According to Ryan Kiesel, a former state legislator and head of the ACLU of Oklahoma, “We have been put in a position of choosing between attempting to give Oklahomans an opportunity to adopt critical marijuana and criminal justice law reforms or protecting the health of ourselves and our fellow Oklahomans,”.

When can the process be restarted?

In March of 2020, Ryan Kiesel was a little positive about collecting signatures  for the petition. “It’s really difficult, if not impossible, to imagine a scenario in which an initiative petition campaign could responsibly and feasibly collect the signatures necessary in order to make the 2020 ballot if that campaign doesn’t already have the signatures on hand,”

But now, the earliest we can see this entire process happening is by 2022. According to Oklahoma’s Secretary of States office, a 2021 election is also likely. This is because other petitions have also suffered a similar fate. This would require a special calling of an election by the governor.

Ryan Kiesel has established the fact that “half-steps that do not address the damage caused by decades of broken marijuana policy.” In the light of this statement, it can be established that the petition to legalize marijuana is a single step among many other reforms that definitely need to put in place to reap full benefits for the society.

 

A graduate in Bachelors of Business Administration, Yumna Haq is an ardent researcher and a dedicated writer. Having lived in three different counties, her cultural exposure is vast, allowing her to reflect more knowledge in her work. She's currently working for Cannabis Health Insider as a news writer.

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Four Tips to Secure Cannabis Dispensaries in Oregon Today

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cannabis dispensaries with grilles

Since the chain of cannabis crime is being beaded at a much faster rate in Portland, Oregano, there is a dire need to enhance the security measures. Robbery of a cannabis dispensary is as money-spinning as of a bank. Until an act is passed to allow the transactions, cannabis dispensaries remain the prime target of a robbery as all dealings continued to be done in cash.

Tips to Fortify Cannabis Dispensaries Security

The recent report by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission showed almost 120 robberies since march 2020  in Portland Metro alone. It resulted in a total loss of $500,000 in terms of both products and cash. To strengthen the security around the dispensary in a quick and easy way, a key step is to install rolling doors to keep criminal activities at bay.

Tip #1 – Tight Security Measures at Storefront

One of the most popular yet helpful ideas to prevent looting is to install heavy-duty steel doors, which can help add an extra layer of protection for the cannabis business. The plus point is that the manufacturer can directly mount it into the already existing buildings exteriorly. Also, these are significantly helpful in protecting the glass windows, which can be expensive to replace.

What’s more, it can block the view of the thieves to the merchandise. These are different from the other standard rolling grills. With these, the criminals won’t be able to see the stockware when the door is closed. Some of the dispensaries have tested their door against the Department of Defense to assure that even no violent attack can harm them. These doors are lift- and pry-resistant.

Tip #2 – Need of Visibility and Ventilation

If the cannabis dispensary owner wants to let the outside world see their merchandise, there is a need for more robust security. With compact impact glass and a heavy-duty grille, it is possible to stay away from the world’s sight when needed.

Easy custom orders and installation makes it an excellent choice to adhere to the security demands. Heavy-duty grilles that have rods closely spaced and strong interconnections are difficult to lift and attack than the standard grilles.

ALSO READ: First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens- Wait over for Missourians

The rolling grilles become even a much better option to protect the counters in the cannabis dispensaries. There is no need to do any modifications to adjust it behind the glass door. It can be easily installed in small places where the ceiling is low.

Tip #3 – Separating Cannabis Dispensary from the Store

Cannabis dispensaries in the high-end stores need extra protection, and thus, important to separate them from the rest of the shop. Cannabis dispensary separated from the rest of the shop can have different operational hours like some states have specifically specified.

The mesh metal grilles look much better and significantly affect the aesthetics of the store. It can deliver both beauty and security while customers can easily view the cannabis products of the store. There are manufacturers who are even designing logos on the grilles to give aesthetic pleasure.

Tip #4 – Secure Delivery to and from Cannabis Dispensaries

The cannabis dispensary owners usually tend to forget about secure deliveries that are most prone to attacks. Deliveries being made at the store back and the receiving areas are usually the areas of concern. It is extremely important to track down the time of delivery, people present there, and the stock delivered.

ALSO READ: Cannabis Home Delivery Services Likely to commence in Massachusetts

The heavy-duty service rolling doors provide exceptional security than those traditional sectional rolling doors. They are made to meet the demands of beauty and security, both as they are highly customizable and can be easily adjusted to limited spaces. They offer the idea of security by using stainless steel, galvanized steel, and aluminum in the grilles.

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Impaired Driving: A Must Consideration for the State’s Cannabis Bill

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impaired driving in New York

Even with the concept of Vision Zero and more raising concerns for the traffic rules, Albany legislators aren’t focused on it, while rushing to legalize the use of cannabis in New York. Silive shares the thoughts of how important it is to slow down the process of legalization and first pass on a bill that would stop impaired driving and hold marijuana-impaired drivers accountable for accidents.

Before the legalization of marijuana, to create a safer environment, it is extremely important to put pressure on the notion that studies categorize all intoxicating substances as unsafe for driving.

Impaired Driving Same as a Speeding Ticket

No consideration against the impaired driving would make people think it unimportant as a speeding ticket. This indirect message by the leaders would eventually lead to a greater number of casualties with each passing day.

It is nothing but a truth that marijuana has the potency to affect concentration, response time, motor function, and movement. Also, the science links a high concentration of THC in the blood due to cannabis intake to impaired driving. Surprisingly, marijuana is a second substance that has a major influence on driving capability after alcohol.

Need to Reinforce the Drug Definition in New York

Apart from considering classifying impaired driving due to marijuana as a minor criminal act, some light should also be shed on revising the term drug as other 45 states have done. Any substance should be called a drug that can compromise the ability to think, focus, and react.

ALSO READ: Marijuana Legalization And Decriminalization Bills Delayed By Murphy 

If this act is not taken, according to the law, they cannot be charged if the alleged impaired drivers refuse to have a chemical test. The dismissal would eventually result in chaos and poor law enforcement. Such impaired drivers could not be held accountable and would be back on the roads again, risking the lives of hundreds of people.

The legislators of Albany must think about the message they are conveying to the younger generation out there. Already, as shown by the personal accounts of many teenagers, marijuana is nothing big for them and seems harmless.

Different treatment for impaired drivers than those drunken drivers would further strengthen this perception among people. Since neighboring states have already legalized marijuana for recreational and other purposes, New York seems to be next.

Strict Laws and More Investment in the Traffic Sector

Along with the modifications in the law to serve a better criminal justice system, there is a need to pass on better provisions to ensure safety on roads. No person should become a target of  people managing a 3,00 pounds vehicle while being impaired by marijuana, asserts the source.

ALSO READ: Denver’s Cannabis Ordinance Will Jeopardize Hard Earned Public Health And Safety

There should be provisions in the law to hold such people against the criminal act. To run a smooth traffic system, it is mandatory to design out complete traffic safety rules. There should be more people, funding, and resources to train the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officers and create awareness of the possible effects of drug abuse, including marijuana. As time has changed, the use of synthetic drugs has made it difficult to articulate a specific one; thus, the need for DRE officers has become as important as the need to include the provisions in the bill.

The legalization in New York for cannabis should be set straight from the start. Before the bill includes and assures safety on roads, the legalization of recreational cannabis is a non-starter. All the roads

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Cannabis Sales Reaches Skies, Set Highest Mark With $17.5 Billion Sales

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Cannabis Industry On Rise

The novel coronavirus has been devastating for most industries. For some industries, however, it was bliss. Concerning cannabis, 2020 was a breakout year. Across the United States, 15 states granted permission for adult use, while 35 states allowed medicinal use of cannabis. According to a recent  report by Forbes, there was a 46% incline in cannabis sales and use in comparison to 2019, with a budget of $17.5 billion.

Cannabis Sales Increase In Different States

Generation of sales or profit occurs from both medical and adult-use of cannabis. However, recreational or adult-use generates the highest portion of sales, especially in markets like the Colorado marijuana market. In Colorado, the sale of marijuana increased by 26 percent resulting in business involving $2.2 billion. 

According to BDSA, an improvement in sales of Oregon occur by 29 percent from 2019. Moreover, the Oregon market makes a business of $1.1 billion. The cannabis market in Illinois is under progress and development. Yet, it was able to achieve the highest sales in 2020. 

ALSO READ: Know Doctors Recommended Marijuana Tips

Moreover, during 2020 Illinois marijuana industry expanded from medical use to adult use. As a result of legalizing adult-use, an increase of $784 million occurs in sales. Besides, now Illinois is doing sales of over $1 billion in its marijuana market.

Sales in California and Florida also increased. $ 586 million increase in sales of marijuana in the California market occurs, a total of about $3.5 billion business is happening in it. Moreover, the rise of $473 million occurs in the Florida marijuana market. 

What causes The Rise In the Economy Of the Marijuana Industry And Market?

According to BDSA’s insights and analytics department, the cannabis industry is recession-proof and continues to progress. Moreover, it has the most potential of evolving and flourishing. 

According to Kelly Nielsen, the rise in the marijuana industry was due to three reasons. Firstly, during the coronavirus pandemic, dispensaries were major-businesses, and many individuals built their own. 

Secondly, more devoted customers enter big markets like California, Colorado, and Oregon. Third, multiple states legalize the use of cannabis for both medical and adult use. As a result, the overall sale of marijuana products increased remarkably in the previous year. 

Moreover, another major factor is that individuals have begun to consume cannabis in larger amounts. Furthermore, more and more people are now involved in marijuana consumption.

Cannabis users agree that their consumption of cannabis has increased by 25 percent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the demand for cannabis in legal markets has risen since legalization. According to Nielsen, alcohol penetration is 60 percent, while marijuana penetration is 50 percent.

Cannabis Industry Achieves Mega Sales Hits

Urban Leaf co-founder Josh Bubeck states that 2020 has been a tough year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Urban Leaf was able to enhance the market penetration of its cannabis products from 37% to 39%. Moreover, according to Bubeck, the company had its best sales during the last week.

Cannabis companies that have dispensaries at the places of tourists’ attraction suffer the most losses. Similarly, Urban Leaf‘s flagship location near Sea World suffered the biggest-drop. 

ALSO READ: Massachusetts To Enjoy Marijuana-Infused Seltzers

The legalization of marijuana enables doing business legally and prohibits doing illegal activities. As a result, legal-activities rise, and the pressure of high demand in legal setup rises. Similarly, the closing of illegal dispensaries moves more individuals towards legal dispensaries, leading to a further rise in sales. 

Like other cannabis companies, Sava also gets involved deeply in the market. Moreover, according to the founder of Sava, the company observes 60% more growth in their sales during 2020.

According to Andrea Brooks, people are getting comfortable with new legalization and decriminalization policies. Moreover, as people are getting-used-to cannabis policies, the demand for cannabis products is rising, and so are its sales. Despite large profits and sales during the pandemic, no marijuana industrialists want to relive the stressful 2020. 

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