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Lawsuit to Cast Out Licenses to Vast Pot Farms

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An Alliance of California marijuana growers files a lawsuit

It seems like California should be riding the high of legalizing weed, but farmers and cultivators are wary of big businesses monopolizing the industry. Cue the lawsuit. 

So the California Growers Association has filed a lawsuit on Tuesday (23 January) to block a regulation that lets big businesses acquire as many licenses as they want.

“Approving large cultivation operations in 2018 will significantly reduce the ability of small and medium cultivators to compete economically in the regulated market,” the lawsuit said.

According to the alliance, large farms could drive out business for smaller cultivators and would push them inevitably into the black market, which isn’t the purpose of legalization in the beginning, reports Associated Press.

This legal action would block states from issuing licenses that could create “vast pot farms.” The California Department of Food and Agriculture has not commented on the matter.

Despite marijuana legalization in California, farmers and small cultivators are facing doubts whether it has benefitted them.

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Vermont Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

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Vermont has become the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana, but sales have to wait until July when the law will take effect. Despite this great news, one thing to consider: Vermont does not have a legal recreational marijuana market yet. This means there is a lot of work to be done before the public can enjoy the benefits of legal weed. 

Gov. Phil Scott, who signed the Bill H. 511 on Monday, said the state has not established a tax or regulation system for cannabis sales yet, reports Burlington Free Press. Being the first state to pass the law in legislature, rather than through the ballot box, comes with some limitations.

“To be very direct: There must be comprehensive and convincing plans completed in these areas before I will begin to consider the wisdom of implementing a commercial ‘tax and regulate’ system for an adult marijuana market. It is important for the General Assembly to know that — until we have a workable plan to address each of these concerns — I will veto any additional effort along these lines, which manages to reach my desk,” he said.

Under the law, it is legal to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and people are able to grow up to two mature marijuana plants and four immature plants. All marijuana use must be done in private, and public use is strictly prohibited. People may smoke in “individual dwellings” and are prohibited from smoking in hotel rooms, restaurants, workplaces, and stores. It will be mandatory for violators to pay a starting fee of $100 for each violation. As in other states, people are not allowed to drive under the influence of the drug and are prohibited from opening cultivation sites near schools.

The only clarity of law is that medical marijuana is already legal in Vermont, and registered medical marijuana patients may buy marijuana from dispensaries.   

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