Good afternoon everyone, this is Todd Denkin with The National Marijuana News here to bring you the latest update on marijuana news around the country. I hope everyone had a great week. I certainly know that a large group of people in Michigan were happy this week. It is time to start considering what is coming in 2019 for marijuana reform. Hopefully we will see New Jersey pass a broad recreational marijuana bill before year’s end, but if not, 2018 has still been a remarkable year for cannabis legalization advocates. Let’s get started with our first story.

The Plan to Open Marijuana Lounges in Las Vegas Next Year

Our own champion of marijuana legalization here in Las Vegas, Tick Segerblom, was just voted into the Clark County City Council and the man is on a mission. He traveled to San Francisco along with seven other Nevada legislators and met with the city’s Office of Cannabis. The fact finding machine was to discover as much as he could about the San Francisco marijuana lounges. His plan is to introduce social marijuana consumption lounges to Las Vegas next year, and as he put it, “…get these pot lounges up and running, get marijuana out of our casinos and hotels, and get it off the streets.” Las Vegas is seeing the demand for marijuana go up on nearly a monthly basis and as of right now there is no place for tourists to legally consume it. Cannabis lounges are the only logical choice and if Segerblom gets his way, they will be allowed right on the strip as well. To find out more about Mr. Segerblom’s efforts, check out our article on “Las Vegas Looks To Open Cannabis Lounges.”

Recreational Marijuana Officially Became Legal In Michigan on December 6th

Yesterday, December 6th, adult-use marijuana became legal to consume in Michigan. It is the first midwest state to legalize recreational marijuana after voters said yes during the midterm elections. People across the state partied in celebration of the end of marijuana prohibition on Thursday. Estimates are that the marijuana industry in Michigan could grow to $800 million dollars by 2024. However, the commercial sale of cannabis did not start on Thursday to the disappointment of many enthusiasts in Michigan. In fact, the state does not even need to start looking at applications for recreational dispensaries for another year and it could be well beyond that before the first customer will be able to make a purchase. That is the way it goes with bureaucracy, just ask Massachusetts which did not sell its first pre-roll until two years after voters approved it. Regardless, it’s a massive step forward for Michiganders and they should be proud.

Utah Marijuana Advocacy Groups Sue State for Gutting Voter Approved Medical Marijuana Amendment

Moving out west, Utah is still giving its voters problems over its newly passed amendment that will make medical marijuana available to patients. The conservative state has some very passionate and influential groups that do not support medical cannabis legalization, such as the Church of Latter Day Saints. Utah lawmakers passed a bill that does not look at all like what voters approved during the midterm elections. The revised bill does not permit marijuana edibles, does not allow any medical cannabis to be grown at home and reduced the amount of qualifying conditions to receive a medical marijuana card. In response, medical marijuana advocacy groups, TRUCE and the Epilepsy Association of Utah have sued the state and asked for the originally structured amendment to be passed instead. They fully expected lawmakers would change the bill, and warned them ahead of time that they would sue.

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Battle for Where Marijuana Tax Money will go In NYC

Even though adult-use marijuana legalization is still a ways off in New York, a bill has not even been put forth yet that would legalize recreational cannabis, lawmaker have already started fighting over where the tax revenue would be going from cannabis sales. Controller Scott Stringer and his office say that marijuana tax revenue could bring in $336 million a year to New York City and that the funds should go to the sections of the city most adversely affected by marijuana prohibition and that an equity program that would give people convicted of cannabis related crimes a first shot at getting involved in the business of cannabis sales. Public advocate candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito has proposed something she calls “Weed for Rails” which would allocate half of the tax revenue from marijuana sales to improving the public transit system in New York City. The subways in New York are old, dilapidated and inconsistent, she is right about that. One way or another, hearing these argument makes you feel as though politicians in New York are pretty sure that adult-use marijuana is coming. New York will be on our radar for 2019.

New Study Implies that Adolescent Marijuana Use does not Lead to Bad Behavior

A recently published study out of the University of Pennsylvania shows that adolescent cannabis use does not lead to bad behavior. In the study, researchers regularly interviewed hundreds of children between the ages of 10 and 12 for a five year period to see what other drugs they started using and for any development of bad behavior. “Things like stealing, lying, using drugs without permission by parents, setting fires, skipping school,” one researcher explained. “Antisocial behavior that can, if it goes unabated, lead eventually to more serious problems as adolescents mature into adulthood.” The results showed that bad behavior stemmed more from troubles at home that began well before they started consuming cannabis. Results also did not demonstrate that cannabis use lead to other drug use either.

Well that is it for this week everyone. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @NationalMJNews and check out The National Marijuana News Youtube channel. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Everyone please stay safe and do not do anything that I wouldn’t do. Until next week, this is Todd Denkin with The National Marijuana News.