The Digital Dime: 2/21/2020

By Samantha Wahl


Following important cannabis news articles every day can be a real burn-out, we know. That’s why the Emerald rolls up a chronicle of the headiest news hits, and passes them to you at the end of each week. We Bring You: The Digital Dime.

New York’s Strict Medical Programs Hurt Cannabis Businesses

It’s no secret that New York’s medical cannabis program is a tough nut to crack. Prices are high, flower and edibles are restricted, and dispensaries are few. For over 100,000 patients, there are only 37 dispensaries state-wide. Such boundaries make purchasing products difficult for patients, and selling products difficult for businesses. According to MJBizDaily, the industry can’t expand under these conditions. The only surefire solution is to legalize adult-use. We wonder, how will these statistics affect New York lawmakers’ decision to move forward with legalization? Will the low participation rate and lack of market success lead them to believe that an expanded cannabis program is low-priority? Let’s hope they can see that this is a cause and effect dilemma.

Alabama Could Go Medical

Here’s to hoping Alabama has better luck with their medical program than New York. This week, the Southern state’s Committee approved a medicalization bill. All it needs now is Senate and House of Representative signage, says Marijuana Moment. This isn’t the first bill of its kind to make its way through the Alabama legislature. Last year, a similar draft failed to pass through the House. But this version has been updated to better suit a majority of participants. For example, patients wouldn’t have to jump through medical hoops in order to be granted access; workers would be held responsible for accidents caused by consumption; and doctors would be protected for advocating for cannabis treatment. Passing this bill won’t be easy. But the industry is pushing hard to expand the public perception of cannabis, and its success is slowly expanding to even stricter states.

P.A. on the Way to Legalization

One Pennsylvania representative is working hard on a legalization bill that could improve statewide business and debt issues. Rep. Jake Wheatley is modifying his previous attempt at an adult-use bill, which wasn’t approved last year. According to Cannabis Business Times, the new bill states that cannabis taxes would benefit those with student loan debt, and cultivators would be able to apply for licenses without as many hurdles. Potential hurdles could lie amongst Wheatley’s fellow lawmakers, however, as some have made advanced promises to oppose any pro-legalization bills that come their way. 

Amsterdam Could Ban Cannabis Tourism

Today, Amsterdam is perhaps most famous for its cannabis culture. Every year, tourists from around the world flock to experience the Dutch cafes, where they can purchase pot and consume it publicly, unlike almost anywhere else in the world. A new survey says that’s why tourists go there in the first place. Without the weed, they might not continue booking flights.

Unfortunately, visitors of the historic city have not been treating it with the respect it deserves. Since cannabis cafes’ popularity grew, so did the number of outside visitors, and their, erm, behavior has compromised the safety and integrity of the city. Therefore, Amsterdam’s mayor recently discussed plans to restrict access to cannabis to residents only, CNN Travel says. The risk is, doing so could reduce tourism all together. This is not the sort of reputation cannabis needs across the world. The city should consider other solutions first, instead of sending a message that prohibition is an answer. 

Emerald contributor since September 2019


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