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Maine’s First Month Of Legal Marijuana Sales Total $1.4M

Maine is seeing significant success in their recreational cannabis industry.

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Licensed cannabis retailers in Maine sold more than $1.4 million worth of marijuana products during the first month of legal recreational pot sales, according to data released by state regulators on Monday. Legal sales of adult-use cannabis began on October 9, nearly four years after voters approved recreational marijuana sales for adults in 2016.

On Monday, the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) released sales data collected by Metrc, the state’s cannabis track-and-trace system, for October 9 through November 8. The figures for the first 31 days of legal sales showed that smokable forms of cannabis were the most popular products, making up 76% of revenue. Cannabis concentrates accounted for 14% of sales, while infused foods and drinks made up the remaining 10%. A total of 21,194 transactions were logged by cannabis retailers during the first month in business. Sales figures released by the state are preliminary in nature and have not yet been audited by state regulators.

“In comparison, Maine’s medical marijuana program—which includes eight licensed dispensaries, more than 200 stores run by medical marijuana caregivers and individual caregivers that operate out of their homes or embrace the delivery model—sold on average $9.4 million in medical marijuana on a typical 31-day month in 2019,” reported the Portland Press Herald. 

As legal sales of recreational marijuana launched on October 9, eight retailers had been licensed by the state to begin operations, although only six shops were ready to open for business on the first day, in part due to reported product shortages. By the first week in November, a total of nine adult-use cannabis retailers were open for business in the state.

Erik Gundersen, the director of the OMP, congratulated licensed cannabis retailers on the successful launch of licensed sales while facing the ongoing challenges of a global pandemic.

“While it is easy to focus solely on the numbers, it is important to note that the Office of Marijuana Policy’s primary objective is maintaining the high standard of public health and safety we have set for the adult use program,” Gundersen said in a press release from the OMP. “We appreciate the commitment our licensees have demonstrated to enact COVID protocols to ensure a safe launch and their continued commitment to these efforts in light of the recent spike in COVID cases in Maine.”

Even with only six shops open at market launch, retailers posted more than $250,000 in sales their first weekend in business. Gundersen said then that the robust opening was a credit to both retailers and consumers, who shopped despite restrictions put in place to help control the outbreak.

“Our retail store licensees went the extra mile to implement public health measures and control vehicle and pedestrian traffic visiting their establishments,” Gundersen said at the time. “Additionally, the respect and patience shown by consumers for these protocols and their willingness to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing was very encouraging.”

Maine legalized medical marijuana with a ballot initiative in 2013 that was supported by 62% of voters. That was followed by the legalization of marijuana for use by adults and regulated recreational cannabis sales with the passage of the Marijuana Legalization Act by voters in November 2016.

Source: https://hightimes.com/news/maine/maines-first-month-legal-marijuana-sales-total-1-4m/

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thyssenkrupp materials expertise boosts University rocketry team

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thyssenkrupp materials expertise boosts University rocketry team

thyssenkrupp Materials UK has announced its sponsorship of Glasgow University (GU) Rocketry team, with its ongoing aerospace projects.

GU Rocketry is a student-led research group, part of the Engineering Department of University of Glasgow that focuses on the development of launch vehicles and their propulsion systems. After being founded in 2019, the project has quickly grown to now contain over 70 members in a variety of technical and non-technical roles.

“Industry support from companies such as thyssenkrupp Materials UK has allowed the team to undertake increasingly challenging projects,” stated thyssenkrupp Materials UK’s COO, Billy Kingsbury. “With GU Rocketry now being home to Scotland’s only hybrid engine development programme, the engine, named Chimera, will serve as a development point for the team to then progress onto more powerful engines in the coming years.

“We are proud to be part of this aerospace programme and we are impressed with the ambition and depth of knowledge of the students. Our company realises the importance of developing young talent and closing the skills gap in the industry. Therefore, we are honoured to be supporting and sponsoring the next generation of young engineers, who will continue to bring the UK aeronautical engineering industry into maturity in the coming decade.”

Hybrid engines take the advantages of both liquid and solid rockets and as a result, they become much safer to operate and develop. The Chimera engine is made up of four main components: the run tank and feed system, injector, combustion chamber and nozzle. The liquid fuel, also known as oxidiser, which GU Rocketry will use, is nitrous oxide and is stored in the run tank. A property of nitrous oxide is self-pressurising. This means that it can push itself down the feed system and into the main propulsion unit, where it will meet the injector. The injector atomises the liquid into little droplets, like a showerhead, to enter the combustion chamber.

When the oxidiser reaches the combustion chamber, heat generated by an igniter causes the nitrous oxide to decompose and release oxygen. The combustion chamber contains the solid fuel and therefore, the team have chosen to use hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB). This then reacts with the oxygen and causes combustion. The hot exhaust gases that are produced are forced down the chamber through to the nozzle, where the gasses are accelerated to maximise thrust and cause propulsion. The Chimera engine has passed the preliminary design review and is on schedule for a hot fire test in Q3 of 2021.

thyssenkrupp Materials UK will be providing the materials and machining for all major components of the Chimera engine and will work closely with the team to ensure that the design is optimised. The team will also collaborate with thyssenkrupp Materials UK on future engine designs and on aspects ranging from material selection to machining, utilising the wealth of knowledge that the company can provide.

Nigel Evans, Head of Defence at thyssenkrupp Materials UK commented: “Our sponsorship of this advanced project will provide the students at Glasgow University with real-world industry experience that simply is not available from the classroom. We are excited to work with the GU Rocketry team, as we firmly believe that technological advances in aerospace engineering and many other industrial sectors are often influenced or enhanced by students and young talent.”

www.thyssenkrupp-materials.co.uk

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/thyssenkrupp-materials-expertise-boosts-university-rocketry-team/

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Mississippi Supreme Court Allows Opponents of Medical Cannabis To Challenge Vote Results

Opponents of legalizing medical cannabis had the chance to argue against a voter-backed ballot initiative in the Mississippi Supreme Court this week.

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The Mississippi Supreme Court heard arguments this week challenging the state’s overwhelming vote in support of medical cannabis last November but advocates still have their high hopes. 

The Mississippi Cannabis Trade Association released a statement following Thursday’s oral arguments that would determine the industry’s fate. If the challenge is successful it would essentially nullify the election night win for compassion in Mississippi. 

The idea behind the challenge is an old law that says you need 20% of your signatures to come from each of the state’s congressional districts. The problem? Mississippi lost a congressional district in 2003 and officials never updated the law. Now the opposition is attempting to use it as a de facto ban on ballot initiatives. 

“The Mississippi Cannabis Trade Association (MSCTA) looks forward to reviewing the Mississippi Supreme Court’s imminent ruling on the recent legal challenge to Initiative 65. At its very core, this is a matter of upholding the will of the citizens of Mississippi and their constitutional right to propose and enact amendments through the ballot initiative process,” the statement reads. “The state constitution expressly prescribes certain enumerated rights to the people of Mississippi, and therefore, its provisions should be interpreted in a manner that preserves these rights, not destroys them.”

The wildly high number of 75% of Mississippians voted in favor of medical cannabis for a list of 22 qualifying debilitating medical conditions last fall. To put it in perspective, that’s a 20-point larger victory margin compared to when California passed Proposition 215 in 1996

Regardless of the stress of court, The MSCTA is excited to see regulators get the ball rolling on for the deadlines mandated by the vote. 

“The MSCTA is encouraged by the recent moves by the Mississippi Board of Health to enact regulations that will lead to the creation of a vibrant and responsible cannabis marketplace in Mississippi,” they noted. “The MSCTA also would like to emphasize that legal cannabis, whether medical or adult use, is a thriving industry that is growing at breakneck speed.” 

MSCTA also argued the new economic sector would create thousands of jobs the state, stating that, “As more states formally recognize the medical and economic realities behind legalized cannabis, Mississippi should not be left behind—and its people chose not to be.”

Should The Mississippi Supreme Court Even Be Entertaining Challenges?

MSCTA Executive Director Jessica Rice talked with High Times on Thursday about where things now stand. 

“You know, we are excited about what’s happening with the Mississippi Department of Health and how they’re moving forward,” Rice said, “ And just, you know, we thought both the arguments were good and strong in support of upholding the initiative and we’re excited to put this chapter behind us and move forward.”

We asked Rice if she had ever seen another ballot initiative in Mississippi face this kind of scrutiny.

“Not to my knowledge,” she replied. “There have been controversial initiatives in the past, but nothing that has overwhelmingly been supported by Mississippians and then still faced so many challenges afterward.”

Rice spoke to how Mississippi voters feel watching this all play out. “I think frustration. People want to be able to be a part of the civic process,” she said, “And when they feel like they have engaged in the proper avenues and have their vote or decision undermined, it will lower their confidence in the process.”

While the namesake of the organization is technically hanging in the balance, MSCTA’s membership is actively trying to get their ducks in a row for whatever the licensing process will end up looking like. 

“I think, despite the challenges that we’ve seen by the legislature and through the Supreme Court, people are still really excited about having a medical marijuana program in the state, and they are just excited to see this industry come here,” Rice said. 

NORML State Policies Manager Carly Wolf also gave her take on the current legal proceedings. 

“Legalization opponents have shown time and time again that they cannot succeed in either the court of public opinion or at the ballot box,” Wolf told High Times. “Thus, they are now asking judges to set aside the votes of over a million Americans in a desperate effort to override undisputed election outcomes. Whether or not one supports marijuana legalization, Americans should be outraged at these overtly undemocratic tactics, and the [Mississippi Supreme Court] should reject them.”

We’ll keep you posted on the ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court when it happens.

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Source: https://hightimes.com/news/mississippi/mississippi-supreme-court-cannabis/

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New Poll Shows Almost 70% of Americans Want Legal Cannabis—More Than Ever Before

The polled people have spoken: Americans want legal cannabis.

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According to a recent poll, across the country, more Americans want legal cannabis now than ever before.

The national polling data was put together by Quinnipiac University. This is the highest level of support ever reported in a nationwide survey and marks an even bigger shift in cannabis acceptance. The poll was directed by Doug Schwartz, Ph. D., and was based on random samples of adults using random digit dialing with live interviewers. The study has been conducted this way since 1994 and is considered independent and non-partisan.

According to the numbers, about seven in ten Americans believed that cannabis should be legal in the U.S. at the time of polling. Sixty-nine percent of those polled shared their support, and when looking just at registered voters, 70 percent are in favor. This number is up 19 percent from 2012 when the poll was first taken. 

“There is no buyer’s remorse on the part of the American people. In the era of state-level legalization, voters’ support for this issue has grown rapidly—an indication that these policy changes have been successful and are comporting with voters’ desires and expectations,” NORML’s Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “Today, voters of every age and in virtually every region of the country agree that marijuana should be legal. We have a mandate from the American people and we intend to make sure that elected officials abide by it.”

This poll is also a big deal because support for legalization is more and more becoming a non-partisan issue in the United States. Sixty-two percent of Republicans, 67 percent of Independents and 78 percent of Democrats back legalizing cannabis. While Democrats are still in the lead in terms of legalization support, the other two groups are quickly catching up. 

However, this non-partisan split is not being reflected through elected officials, as Democrats are still by and large the only group to support issues. Republicans still often vote against cannabis legislation. The recent legalization efforts in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and New Mexico were all thanks to Democrats and received almost no Republican support.

Still, despite that setback, the Quinnipiac data showed that cannabis is increasingly being supported by Americans of all ages, not just young people. While the percentage of support is the highest among young and middle-age people, at 78 percent for those between the ages of 18 and 49, there is still support from older groups. Those 50 to 64 support cannabis at a rate of 72 percent, and even folks 65 and older give 51 percent support to legalization.

This is not the first time this data is being offered up. Other polls have shown similar results, and the national push for federal legalization, as well as more and more states becoming legal, is also proof of the growing acceptance for cannabis in America. However, this poll is significant because it shows more support than any data before. Since the numbers seem to indicate that Americans want legal cannabis, elected officials would do well to take note and start to implement changes that reflect the will of the people.

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Source: https://hightimes.com/news/poll-americans-want-legal-cannabis/

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