New York

New York state of euphoria: MRTA becomes law at last

Posted on March 30th, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

New YorkAfter years of activist effort, New York state finally passed the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), signed into law by a politically besieged Gov. Andrew Cuomo. This is being hailed as a victory by advocates, who pledge to craft a model of legalization that will dismantle a long legacy of racism and oppression under the prohibition regime.

Northeast legalization: New Jersey beats Empire State to punch

Posted on February 23rd, 2021 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

New JerseyAfter a frustrating delay and deadlock in the statehouse, New Jersey finally answered the will of the voters in last year's referendum, and passed enabling legislation to create a regulated adult-use cannabis market. Activists are still dissatisfied with limits—most significantly, no provision for homegrown—and have concerns about how a "recreational" market will impact medical users. But the belated move is being hailed as a victory that ups the pressure on neighboring New York to follow through on pledges to legalize—and even on the federal government.

Progress, obstacles in cannabis industry unionization push

Posted on September 5th, 2020 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

grow roomGains are reported from Massachusetts in organized labor's push to unionize the cannabis industry. But significant obstacles remain—from management roadblocking, to the ambiguous status under national labor law of an industry dealing in a federally illegal substance.

The First Legal Hemp Harvest: A Look Back

Posted on August 24th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

hempThe autumn of 2019 saw the United States' first hemp harvest since effective prohibition of the crop under the strictures of the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937. These strictures were overturned in the Farm Bill signed into law by President Trump in the closing days of 2018. This harvest was looked to eagerly across much of rural America, as legal hemp had been plugged as a salvation for the nation's struggling farmers—and the soaring popularity of CBD appeared to provide a booming market. The fashionable cannabinoid had also been legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill—when derived from hemp, or cannabis with less than 0.3% THC.

Hemp Farming While Black

Farmer CeeCan Rural America's Expropriated Use a New Crop to Forge a New Agrarianism?

Green Heffa Farms, in North Carolina’s Piedmont, has emerged as a national symbol of vision and success in America’s new hemp economy. As a producer of boutique full-spectrum hemp-flower products, it has won a cachet in the industry—which is augmented, at least in more enlightened sectors, by the fact that it is Black-owned, and has an overt political consciousness.

Green Heffa’s CEO is Clarenda Stanley—popularly known as Farmer Cee. She was featured in the April issue of Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, and was last year the 2019 “Featured Farmer” for National Hemp History Week.

Brooklyn brutality re-ignites outrage over pot policing in NYC

Posted on March 11th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

New York CityAn egregious incident of police abuse in Brooklyn has gone viral on the internet—and re-ignited public anger over racist marijuana enforcement in New York City.

Cuomo pledges legal cannabis for Empire State in 2020 —but whither equity?

Posted on January 23rd, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

New YorkThe new budget just released by New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo includes his promised cannabis legalization measure. But activists in the Empire State will be watching closely to see if the proposed legislation delivers on his pledge to instate legalization in a way the corrects the social harms of prohibition.

MLK and marijuana: making the connection

Posted on January 15th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

MLKMartin Luther King Jr never spoke about cannabis, but his life and works have much to say about the fight for legalization, and against the "New Jim Crow" of the war on drugs. 

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