Congressman John Yarmuth bought marijuana stock before announcing MORE act

In a continuation of a pattern that we see happening from time to time with members of the federal government, Congressman Yarmuth, Democrat from Kentucky, seemed to benefit from insider knowledge of an expected stock bump when he bought between $1,000 and $15,000 worth of marijuana stock before announcing the MORE act to Congress, which stands for the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. This was all uncovered in an investigation done by Popular Information.
It is only required for lawmakers to give a range of the amount they invested so we can’t be sure how much Yarmuth had invested, but between the stocks for Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis, and Tilray he spent up to $15,000. Since December, these stocks have risen in value significantly, with Tilray rising 3.5 times in value.
In the past, we’ve seen Senators sell stocks as inside knowledge gave them a headstart before the pandemic hit.

Cannabis Taxes feeding lots of money into Illinois public schools

Illinois has a program called R3, which stands for restore, reinvest, and renew, that is funneling funs made from marijuana services into paying for public schools in the state, according to Ganjapreneur.
In total, about $858,669 has been allocated so far. This money is going towards legal aid for students, helping incarcerated youth back into society, career coaching, reproductive education, and more programs to help students.
“R3 is so important to me because I felt that it was critical that if we were going to be legalizing a product that has been used for the last 80 years to penalize largely Black and brown people, it was incredibly important that we took some of the resources of the sale of this product and begin to reinvest it in repairing some of those same communities that had been torn down by the war on drugs,” said State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, who aided in the creation of the R3 program.
And that six-figure amount is only what has been allocated for public schools. In total, the program garnered about $31 million of funding for the state, and they expect the number to potentially raise to $65 million in the next year.
Read the source at Ganjapreneur.

New Jersey finally passes marijuana legalization

In a very long delayed move, New Jersey has finally passed legal marijuana after their Governor signed multiple bills this morning.
Governor Phil Murray was waiting on a proposal that detailed punishment for underage users, and once that reached his desk, he signed all of the bills into law. This is included cannabis legalization, decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana possession, limiting the use of previous marijuana convictions, and creating a regulated cannabis marketplace.

Marijuana will now be legal in NJ.
We’re one step closer to ending this unjust, failed war on drugs that has systematically targeted Black & Brown people & the poor across our state & nation.
Grateful for @GovMurphy, NJ leadership & advocates who fought so hard for this day. https://t.co/nJprUIYq9s
— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) February 22, 2021

The legislation has been delayed and pushed back on ever since it was approved by voters in November, but things were looking good last week when Governor Murphy signaled he would sign the law as long as specific and appropriate punishment was detailed for those underage caught with marijuana. A written warning and small fine was eventually agreed upon.
Congrats, New Jersey!

Former Eaze CEO being charged for transaction laundering

Jim Patterson, Eaze’s CEO until 2019, is under legal woes for “deceiving banks into processing $100 million worth of credit and debit payments for marijuana products,” according to MJBizDaily.
He will plead guilty tomorrow, thereby waiving an indictment.
The two men who were in charge of the online marketplace for Eaze were both indicted in March of 2020 for the scheme.
“The indictment alleged that the two, operating the Online Marijuana Marketplace, created fictitious online merchants that sold dog products, dive gear, carbonated drinks, green tea and face creams to route the marijuana transactions and get around cannabis banking restrictions,” again from MJBizDaily.
In the meantime, Eaze as a company is looking to put this all behind them and distance themselves from the controversy. A spokeswoman for the company wrote in an email to MJBizDaily, “as reported, we are cooperating with relevant authorities, Jim is no longer with the company and Eaze is not a defendant in this matter.”
Read the full story over at MJ Business Daily.

WallStreetBets have turned their attention to weed

With a new administration seemingly open to marijuana legalization and more and more states taking action themselves, stocks for cannabis companies within and outside the country feel like solid bets.
Therefore cue the WSB army, who just last month ransacked the stock price of Gamestop, AMC, Nokia, and others, leaving very little behind.
In particular, Sundial (SNDL), Tilray (TLRY), and aphria (APHA) have come under intense Reddit scrutiny. Just yesterday, Tilray, a Canadian cannabis company, had its stock rise 36%. However, with the attention of WallStreetBets also comes volatility, and today the stock is plunging back down, now under 41% of where it opened.
And attention already seems to be waning, with many on the subreddit eyeing Bumble as their next victim. Hopefully, this will leave the cannabis sector to itself and back to normalizing, where it’s incremental yet steady climb will continue throughout the year.

TV Show Host and Travel Author Rick Steves to Chair NORML Board of Directors

For me, my work with NORML is a civic duty. I care about fighting racism; about replacing a black market that empowers and enriches gangs and organized crime with a legal one that produces good jobs and lots of tax revenue; and about defending our civil liberty to simply enjoy the recreational use of marijuana if we want to.
The post TV Show Host and Travel Author Rick Steves to Chair NORML Board of Directors appeared first on NORML.

Marijuana sales in Illinois are skyrocketing

2020 was the first year weed became legal in the state of Illinois, and the demand just keeps coming.
According to the Sun Times out of Chicago, a total of $670 million of recreational marijuana was sold last year. Those are fantastic numbers, but the cherry on top is that this year seems to have the potential to reach the billion dollar mark.
Last January, the amount of marijuana sold was $39 million. Decent profit, but January 2021 reached $88 million. That’s more than double, and if this growth keeps up, a year of $1.2 billion in sales isn’t out of reach.
However, some are saying this upwards trend won’t likely be replicated month to month. “I wouldn’t expect constant upward trends every single month. It will be a combination of more consumers entering the market, some products ‘premiumizing,’ some products falling in price slightly and changes in consumer frequency of use,” says Alyssa Jank, an analyst at a cannabis research firm, Brightfield Group.
Promising signs, and despite apparent headaches during the application process, more and more pot shops are opening up in the state.
Read the full story at Chicago Sun Times.

Marijuana Stocks are booming in 2021

The Biden Administration has dramatically increased the optimism in the marijuana industry.
One of the better indicators of the new mindset is the stock market, where some marijuana stocks are having just the best time.
Over at The Motley Fool, they’ve compiled three of some of the better performing stocks, from an upside of 35% all the way to 92%.
These three stocks are Valens (OTC:VLNCF), Columbia Care (OTC:CCHWF), and KushCO Holdings (OTC:KSHB). Valens is doing by far the best with an outlook of 92%, potentially DOUBLING in value. Columbia Care then comes in at 38%, with KushCO at 35%.
Whether you’re an investor or not, these are all good signs of the markets demand for more and more weed.
Full story at The Motley Fool.

Opioid Prescriptions Decline in Canada Following Enactment of Adult-Use Marijuana Legalization

“The findings of this study add to the growing body of evidence that easier access to cannabis for patients with pain may reduce opioid use and partially offset expenditures for both public and private drug plans.”
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