The Digital Dime: 3/13/2020

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.

The Right and Left are Still Divided

Party divisions are clear as ever where piff meets politics. While President Donald Trump is actively hiring cannabis opposers in his administration, presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, sticks by his promise to federally legalize. 

The newest addition to Trump’s cabinet is Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC, the new White House Chief of Staff, according to Forbes. His track record reflects anti-cannabis activism. Recently, he supported limited access to banking for cannabis businesses. He also views the plant as a danger to youth and their finances. Hopefully, Trump’s cannabis policies won’t get any more strict, or else, this could set us back on our journey toward normalization.

Meanwhile, Sanders continues to fight these oppressors, even boldly inviting an entire rally of people in Chicago to an official national legalization ceremony, Marijuana Moment reports. The presidential hopeful has made his plans to expunge cannabis-related offenses, and end the War on Drugs abundantly clear for many of his years in politics. Should Sanders be elected, the next four years will change our country drastically, and especially, our miracle plant. 

Sparking Up on the Reservation

The Olga Sioux tribe could soon make cannabis history. The reservation, located in South Dakota, is on track to legalize. Tribe members will vote this week, Cannabis Business Times reports. The state itself as not legalized, or even medicalized, and maintains harsh penalties against drug possession. If the Olga Sioux’s vote lands in favor of weedoom, it will be the first reservation to legalize outside of state laws. With talk of some cities wanting to form independent policies from their states, this could be good news. Our nation could begin to stray from the traditions that have limited our legislative processes for centuries.

Corona is Cancelling our Cannabis Functions

We’ve been providing Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates since the virus began to plague the U.S., and as it turns out, it’s no joke. Annual festival, South By Southwest (SXSW) recently announced it would cancel all scheduled events for the first time in its history. This is a huge blow to cannabis businesses and industry officials who use SXSW conferences to spread knowledge and awareness for their canna-causes. 

That’s not the only event shutting its doors due to the fast-traveling illness. According to MJBizDaily, Natural Products Expo West and CannaTech both postponed their conference plans until further notice. Many other hemp conferences are at risk of cancellation as well. For any businesses that already invested money and materials into these events, this is a huge financial setback. Cannabis networking could have to remain virtual until the world can get this sickness in check.

Illinois is Raking it in

The U.S. has had an exciting start to the new decade regarding our favorite sticky green. But our other favorite green–money–is flaunting itself all over Illinois. According to Leafly, the state has been ringing in $1 million in sales every day. Officials expect the generated revenue to increase by 453% in just over a year. The government has implemented strong plans for distribution of these funds, some of which go toward  substance abuse and criminal justice programs. Since opening the first recreational dispensaries on January 1st, Illinois has made it that much closer to declaring victory against the War on Drugs.

Emerald contributor since September 2019

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