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Vermont’s First Day of Legal Recreational Sales Sees Strong Demand, Former Southern California Politician Sentenced in Marijuana Licensing Scheme, and Japanese Lawmakers Urged to Consider the Import of Medical Cannabinoids

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Vermont’s First Day of Legal Recreational Sales Sees Strong Demand

Vermont’s first adult-use cannabis dispensaries opened their doors on Saturday. The first three dispensaries that received approval to transition their sales from medical to recreational are Mountain Girl Cannabis in Rutland, Ceres Collaborative in South Burlington, and Flora Cannabis in Middlebury. All three dispensaries shared similar stories of successful sales, long lines, and a general sense of celebration for the first day of legal marijuana sales in Vermont. Despite an enthusiastic start to the state’s legal cannabis industry, retailers did express concerns about the limited supply and lack of product selection. The hope is this issue is resolved as growers increase production. 

Former Southern California Politician Sentenced in Marijuana Licensing Scheme

Jermaine Wright is a former city councilor and mayor pro tem from Adelanto, California. He was arrested and subsequently charged in 2017 for soliciting and accepting a bribe from an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a business owner attempting to obtain help to get a license to start a cannabis transportation company. Wright was also charged in a separate incident where he bribed a different undercover FBI agent to burn down his restaurant so he could collect the insurance money. He pleaded not guilty to the charges but was convicted and sentenced to a minimum of five years in federal prison

Japanese Lawmakers Urged to Consider the Import of Medical Cannabinoids

A panel established by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare is recommending that the country make it legal to import medical cannabinoids. The recommendation is for Japan to revise its current drug policy to allow for legal access to specific cannabinoids whose medical efficacy has been proven. The panel stopped short of suggesting that the country legalize dried cannabis flower containing THC. This approach is similar to the one South Korea took in 2018 when they approved an amendment to the Narcotics Control Act to permit patients to access prescriptions for medical cannabinoids.