420 with CNW – Poll Shows 60 Percent of Illinoisans Want Recreational Cannabis Treated Like Alcohol

As the legislative session draws to an end in Illinois, an opinion poll conducted shows that the majority of Illinoisans (60 percent) want recreational marijuana to be treated just like alcohol. This poll comes barely two weeks after another poll, sponsored by those opposed to cannabis legalization, showed that support for recreational marijuana legalization was waning.

This latest poll was sponsored by Gov. J. B. Pritzker and it was conducted by the Global Strategy Group. The pollsters asked 802 registered voters in the state whether they were in support of, or opposed to legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana in the same way as alcohol. The poll started on April 29 and ended on May 1.

In general, 60 percent of the respondents expressed their support for legalizing, taxing and regulating recreational cannabis like alcohol while 35 percent opposed it.

When the findings were broken down by location, the Chicago area showed the greatest support when compared to downstate areas.

Two weeks earlier, Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy had been commissioned by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (an organization opposed to cannabis legalization) to conduct a poll on the views of Illinoisans towards recreational cannabis legalization.

That poll found that only 41 percent of the people in Illinois supported legalization. The poll was conducted on May 7 and 8. However, this poll came under intense criticism because of some of the questions it posed.

For example, the pollsters asked voters whether all forms of cannabis use should be made illegal. This question was criticized because medical marijuana has been legal in the state and there is no plan to alter its status in Illinois.

However, the poll conducted by the Global Strategy Group had the twist of not just asking voters about cannabis legalization but also asking them to compare recreational marijuana regulation to alcohol.

Alcohol is widely available and no limits are imposed on how much alcohol adults can buy or consume. The poll therefore wanted to find out whether recreational cannabis should also have minimal restrictions.

A lot of resources have been injected into the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana by its supporters. Opponents have also gone all out to thwart the attempts to legalize recreational cannabis.

The sponsors of the legalization bill told a senate committee that the industry is likely to bring in sales of about $500 million when the industry matures in five to six years. The bill also provides for the automatic expungement of marijuana convictions (without subjecting the affected people to a lengthy application process).

ChineseInvestors.com Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) and Chemistree Technology Inc. (CSE: CHM) (OTCQB: CHMJF) hope that Gov. Pritzker’s intention to see recreational marijuana legalized by the end of this legislative session sees the light of day.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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Celebrity Attention Fuels Rising Press Profile of CBD

CannabisNewsWire Editorial Coverage: Companies with a presence in the CBD market are seeing their profiles rise, thanks to growing media and celebrity attention.

Wildflower Brands Inc. (CSE: SUN) (OTCQB: WLDFF) (WLDFF Profile) is one of the companies benefiting most from this attention, with its products featured in Kim Kardashian’s baby shower and the new Saks CBD store. Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) has seen strong market coverage as its shares rose following action to tackle product shortages in Canada. Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) has fostered its public profile through efforts by the company’s media-savvy co-CEO. Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) drew attention as its share value rose with a large external investment. Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB) has been focusing on growing better CBD-producing plants, work that has drawn attention to its VP of cultivation.

  • Kim Kardashian’s CBD-themed baby shower drew attention to the range of relaxing CBD products.
  • Other high-profile appearances are boosting upper-end CBD brands.
  • Broad media coverage is normalizing and drawing customers to the sector.

To view an infographic of this editorial, click here.

CBD Whips Up Media Storm

Recent months have seen CBD in the media spotlight more than ever before. The relaxing natural compound, derived from hemp and cannabis plants but without the psychoactive qualities of THC, has been grabbing attention across the internet and in print and broadcast media. What was a fringe interest only a few years ago has now grown into the subject of huge mainstream attention.

Some of the coverage comes in news and opinion pieces, where the recent legalization of hemp in the United States has driven a surge in interest. But with CBD products on sale in a growing number of shops across a growing number of states, attention has also come from fashion and lifestyle writers. Even celebrities are in on the act, with CBD products appearing in the hands of the rich and famous — a seemingly sure omen of popularity in the media age.

Garnering Celebrity Support

One of the brands that has benefited strongly from this flurry of media attention is Wildflower Brands Inc. (CSE: SUN) (OTCQB: WLDFF), a creator of health and wellness products. Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wildflower has reached out of Canada and into the United States as North America has become increasingly hospitable to CBD products. The company is focused on building brands around plant-based products, appealing to those looking for natural way to relax and be healthy.

CBD is an important part of Wildflower’s stable of brands. Its Wildflower Wellness brand provides capsules, tinctures, vaporizing liquid and other CBD-infused products, all designed to support relaxation, health and wellness. With its combination of effectiveness and natural products, the brand is, like many others in the CBD sphere, designed to appeal to those looking to escape the stresses of modern life.

That’s presumably how Wildflower products came to appear at Kim Kardashian’s recent baby shower. Kardashian and her husband, Kanye West, recently welcomed their fourth child — and second born by surrogate. In preparation for the event, Kardashian threw an extravagant and well-reported baby shower. To help her guests escape the stresses of life and to prepare her celebrate the “calm before the baby storm,” the celebrity themed her baby shower around the relaxing power of CBD. The event included such tranquil activities as massages, flower arranging and mixing CBD oils to create personalize shower gifts.

As part of the event, Kardashian encouraged her guests to enjoy a relaxing puff of CBD, and Wildflower’s vaporizing products were on hand to provide this opportunity. A Wildflower vaporizer appeared in pictures from the party, as celebrities made the most of what CBD has to offer.

This isn’t the first time that Wildflower products have found their way into celebrity hands. Wildflower goods were selected for inclusion in the 2019 Four Seasons Hotel Hollywood Swag Bags, given to nominees, presenters and actors staying at the hotel for this year’s Oscars. With CBD becoming not just acceptable but fashionable, Wildflower was a natural fit for a hotel wanting to make a good impression on its celebrity guests.

The image of CBD as a prestigious, high-profile consumer luxury has been further reinforced by the creation of a CBD shop within the shop at Saks Fifth Avenue. Directly connecting CBD with other high-end brands and the concept of luxury shopping, this move firmly stakes out CBD’s place within the luxury goods market. And once again, Wildflower is visible among the products on display.

Media Eyes Up CBD

This move into the celebrity culture and the high-end shopping market has come alongside growing media attention for CBD brands.

The arrival in Los Angeles of prominent Long Island beauty boutique Botanica Bazaar gave Vogue reason to cover a range of products including CBD tinctures. For this part of the article, the magazine focused on Wildflower’s products. The company’s strongest CBD remedies, its tinctures have been designed to counter one of the big problems with cannabinoid products — the sometimes unpleasant taste. Wildflower has tackled this challenge by adding natural flavorings to create a product that’s recognized for its flavor as well as its relaxing qualities.

The Vogue piece garnered positive coverage for CBD in general, with Botanica Bazaar’s owners talking about how the pain-relieving power of these products had won a growing number of loyal customers. The article also provided positive coverage for Wildflower, with the writers noting that “Wildflower’s CBD tinctures and vapes not only kill the aesthetics game, but also taste good.”

Coverage of broader cannabis culture has brought CBD brands to the attention of a receptive audience. When Vice presented an article on the best female-owned brands in the cannabis sector, the magazine included Wildflower in a section on pain-relieving spa products. A pain-relief product designed to tackle muscle, joint and back pain, the CBD+ Healing Stick was recommended in the article as a useful cure for period pain.

Buzzfeed went so far as to publish an article on why readers should be buying CBD Christmas gifts for everyone, including featuring recommendations for products their readers might want to pick. These included a lip butter, truffles and CBD-infused sparkling water, showing the wide range of options now available to the CBD consumer.

Wildflower once again stole some of the limelight. The company’s disposable CBD vaporizer pen proved too good a novelty to leave out of the selection. All in all, the company has received mention in more than 15 different articles and media pieces, touting Wildflower products and singing the praises of CBD in general.

CBD’s Growing Press Presence

It seems like hemp and CBD can’t help but make news.

Canadian company Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), a world leader in the field of cannabis and cannabinoids, hit the headlines in Investor’s Business Daily after it announced its stock had jumped based on first-quarter sales. Like many companies in Canada, Tilray has been struggling to meet demand following the legalization of recreational cannabis. However, the company has responded swiftly to the supply shortage, investing $32.6 million to expand it cultivation and manufacturing space by nearly 20%, a move that should keep its profile high.

Another of the big cannabis companies, Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) has built up its profile partly through the work of co-CEO Mark Zekulin. The more outward-facing of the company’s two CEOs, Zekulin has courted public attention through media appearances such as a recent interview with Market Watch. The fact that Canopy Growth is one of the biggest cannabis companies in one of the biggest cannabis markets doesn’t hurt either. This drew the attention of drinks giant Constellation Brands, which invested billions in the company with an eye to products such as CBD drinks; the move made headlines across the business world. A push into the United States with a new hemp-growing facility in New York state has further raised the company’s public profile.

Some of the media coverage around cannabis and CBD has an air of incredulity to it. When Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) saw its share price rise despite first-quarter losses, it inevitably drew attention from market commentators. An investment of C$2.4 billion from tobacco giant Altria is undoubtedly a major factor in the company’s strong performance despite setbacks. Such investments promise future developments, and market commentators watch eagerly to see what will happen next.

Within the United States, CBD producer Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. (OTC: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB) has gained attention as a business with an unpretentious brand and a strong scientific grounding to its products. Using proprietary genetics, the company is working to produce high-quality, low-cost hemp to meet the demands of an increasingly large market. Charlotte’s Web has also won attention for its vice president of cultivation, Jared Stanley, who was recently featured in a list of the hundred most influential figures in the cannabis industry.

As CBD’s cultural presence grows, companies with a strong media presence and the attention of celebrities seem certain to benefit.

For more information on Wildflower Brands, visit Wildflower Brands Inc. (CSE: SUN) (OTCQB: WLDFF)

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420 with CNW – Should California Reverse its Promise to Give Local Authorities Control Over Marijuana Businesses?

When Proposition 64 was passed, one of its “key” promises was that local authorities would have the right to decide whether to license recreational cannabis businesses within their jurisdictions or not. About 70 percent of all cities and counties have opted to ban recreational cannabis sales within their jurisdictions, and this has hampered the growth of the cannabis industry. Now some lawmakers are proposing that this tenet of Prop 64 be changed to rein in the power of local authorities on the matter. Several arguments have been presented in favor of and against this suggestion.

First, those in favor of Assembly Bill 1356, the bill which would force local authorities where a minimum of 50 percent of the voters supported Prop 64 to license some pot shops, say that the blanket ban on cannabis businesses has created room for the black market to thrive since locals have no access to legal marijuana.

Because of that black market activity, the state has been unable to regulate and tax those illegal cannabis sales. This creates public health safety issues. For example, the unregulated marijuana may have high concentrations of pesticides and other contaminants which can affect the health of consumers. The loss of tax revenue also denies the state the funds that it needs to deliver services to the people in addition to funding the regulation of the pot industry.

Proponents of AB1356 also say that by banning pot sales, local authorities are disregarding the wishes of the people in their areas. This is because there is overwhelming public support for legal marijuana.

The people who oppose the reversal of the promise in Prop 64 to let local authorities have a say in whether cannabis businesses should or shouldn’t be allowed in their areas say that this right was crucial in getting Prop 64 to pass. Reversing that promise would therefore tantamount to reneging on the principles which allayed the fears of some people and led them to support the ballot measure years ago.

Some people are also concerned about the risks associated with cannabis businesses since these businesses operate on a cash-only basis as a result of the federal status of marijuana. Marijuana is still illegal federally, so marijuana businesses cannot access banking services. This raises the risk of armed robberies and other opportunistic crimes. Local authorities should therefore reserve the right to allow or ban marijuana sales, they argue.

Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSX.V: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) and Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTCQB: NUGS) call on all concerned to think carefully about the future they want for the cannabis industry so that this standoff between the state regulators and the local authorities is resolved in a way that puts the will of the people at the center.

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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – University of Washington to Study Effects of Cannabis Use During Pregnancy

There’s minimal scientific information about the potential effects of the different drugs which pregnant mothers are discouraged from taking, but cannabis is singled out and given a very negative connotation even if there’s no proof to show whether it is as dangerous, or more dangerous, than pharmaceutical drugs. To set the record straight, researchers from the University of Washington are now recruiting study subjects to research how cannabis use during pregnancy affects babies after they are born.

The “Moms + Marijuana” study will document pregnant mothers’ use of marijuana from the first trimester of pregnancy until birth. The babies born will then have their brains scanned at six months of age to determine how prenatal marijuana use affects the cognitive, psychomotor and behavioral development of infants.

The study is focusing on pregnant women who are already using cannabis to manage the conditions, such as nausea, which they are suffering from during pregnancy. The objective is to find scientific proof either in support of, or contradicting the advice given to pregnant women to abstain from using marijuana.

To this end, the researchers are on a drive to recruit 70 pregnant women who are still in the first trimester of pregnancy. Half of these women will be in the test group while the other half will be in the control group.

Those in the control group will not be allowed to take any cannabis, tobacco or alcohol while those in the test group will be allowed to consume marijuana at least two times each week. The marijuana will be used to control morning sickness.

The researchers intend to conduct random drugs tests throughout the study in order to confirm that the pregnant women aren’t using any other drugs apart from what they are self-reporting to the researchers.

The test group of pregnant women are required to report their weekly marijuana use, and that marijuana can only be bought from licensed sources. The women will also send photos of the cannabis package so that the THC and CBD concentration in that marijuana will be recorded.

When the babies of the research subjects reach six months of age, they will be tested to establish their social and cognitive development, their motor and communication skills, their temperament and other behavioral markers.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans will also be done while the babies are asleep. During those scans, the babies will be exposed to an odor of phenyl-ethanol. This substance is known to activate the sections of the brain which are associated with addiction and reward. The researchers want to use these scans to assess how prenatal marijuana use affects this part of the brain.

Once all this data has been collected, the researchers will compare the findings from the two groups and determine what role marijuana has had on the development of the babies. Youngevity International Inc. (NASDAQ: YGYI) and Wildflower Brands Inc. (CSE: SUN) (OTCQB: WLDFF) hope that this research will provide conclusive proof of whether prenatal cannabis use should or shouldn’t be recommended.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – New Jersey Health Department Unveils Changes to Medical Marijuana Rules

As the deadline set by Gov. Murphy to have the bill to legalize recreational cannabis passed approaches, the Department of Health has released the proposed rule changes which will see the medical cannabis program expanded. The program was due to be expanded at the same time as the legalization of recreational weed, but that seems to be failing as lawmakers fail to convince 2-5 other senators to support full legalization.

The rule changes are broadly aimed at improving access to medical marijuana. For example, there is a provision that will see the registration fee for patients and caregivers reduced to $100 from the current $200.

The new rules will also see veterans and seniors included among the categories of people who will pay a reduced fee of $20 when they apply to get a medical marijuana card. This will make access to the program more affordable for these groups of people.

When the new rules take effect, patients will now designate two people as primary caregivers instead of just one as was the case before. Having two authorized primary caregivers ensures that patients can still access medical marijuana even when one caregiver is indisposed.

The new rules will also allow more forms of medical marijuana to become available in the state. These include oil-based products, such as vape cartridges.

Currently, minors must undergo a psychiatric evaluation before a physician can certify or recommend medical marijuana for such patients. The new rules will remove this requirement, thereby easing the process of accessing medical marijuana by people who are underage.

The proposed rules will also see the addition of seven more conditions to the original list of medical marijuana qualifying conditions. The new ones include anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain and opioid use disorder. The expansion of the qualifying conditions will give more patients access to medical marijuana.

The drafters of the new rules have also included provisions which will reform the way permits are issued for cultivation, processing and dispensing medical marijuana. Currently, all permits are issued using the same system. This is going to change since the new rules provide for separate permitting systems for those different aspects of the industry.

Physicians will also be allowed to opt out of a list that is made available to the public showing which medical professionals have been approved to prescribe medical marijuana.

If Gov. Phil Murphy makes good on his threat, the new rules will be considered in a standalone bill separate from the one legalizing recreational cannabis. Unlike recreational weed which has attracted strong opposition, the lawmakers are in agreement regarding the expansion of the medical marijuana program and passing the medical marijuana bill will, in effect, make it harder to legalize recreational cannabis.

VPR Brands LP (OTC: VPRB) and VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) hope that the lawmakers will find a middle ground that will see the expansion of the medical cannabis program and the legalization of recreational marijuana.

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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – State Statistics Reveal Less than 50 Percent of Ohio Patients Have Purchased Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana was legalized in Ohio in 2016 and sales only started this year. Figures coming in from the state show that only 15,339 of the patients who hold medical marijuana cards have so far visited a dispensary and purchased medicinal marijuana products. Several factors can explain why just 49 percent of the cardholders have bought medical marijuana.

First, very few medical marijuana dispensaries have opened their doors to patients. Out of 56 dispensary licenses which were issued, just a paltry 15 establishments have started operating. These few dispensaries aren’t evenly distributed across the state, and this may explain why few patients have visited them and bought products.

Secondly, the price of the available products is still too high for many patients. The high prices may be resulting from the limited competition between the few dispensaries which have opened. Additionally, not many growers and processors are currently operating in the state. Prices are expected to reduce as more growers and processors come on board to supply the dispensaries in the state.

The state agencies involved in regulating the medical marijuana program also released other statistics related to the program.

For example, out of the 31,075 patients registered on the medical marijuana program, 171 have a diagnosis for a terminal illness, such as cancer. This could suggest that these people are taking medical marijuana to deal with pain.

The medical marijuana register also has 2,109 people registered as caregivers. Caregivers buy and administer medical cannabis to minors or people whose illness is so severe that they cannot buy and administer the medical marijuana by themselves.

In terms of sales, $5.8 million has been recorded as the revenue earned by medical marijuana businesses in the first four months of 2019. This is way below the potential of the industry since Ohio is ranked 7th in the country in terms of its population and GDP.

In total, 750 pounds of marijuana plant material were sold by the medical cannabis dispensaries in the past four months. 3,610 units of manufactured cannabis products, such as oils and tinctures, were also sold.

Larger volumes of products are expected to be sold as medical marijuana becomes more readily available and as more people qualify for medical cannabis cards after more qualifying conditions were added to the initial list of 21 qualifying conditions.

TransCanna Holdings Inc. (CSE: TCAN) and Therma Bright Inc. (TSX.V: THRM) (OTC: THRBF) encourage all the entities that have received medical cannabis licenses to start operations quickly so that they can contribute to the growth of the medical marijuana industry in Ohio.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – New Jersey May Turn to a Referendum to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

As it becomes increasingly clear that the bill to legalize recreational marijuana is unlikely to get enough support in the New Jersey senate, lawmakers are beginning to consider the possibility of letting voters make the decision through a referendum in 2020.

It is now six weeks since a vote on the legalization bill was suddenly called off, but legislative leaders and Gov. Murphy don’t seem to have made any progress is securing the “2-5 votes” needed to guarantee that the legalization bill will pass on the senate floor. The Assembly doesn’t have the same problem and they are just waiting for the senate to be ready before they vote to pass the bill.

That wait doesn’t show any signs of ending soon, and some lawmakers are beginning to float the possibility of letting voters have the final say on marijuana legalization.

New Jersey is unique from other states because voters cannot initiate a referendum or ballot measure as it is known elsewhere in the country. Instead, legislators have to agree and draft the appropriate referendum question so that voters cast their ballots for or against the question presented.

Gov. Murphy laid down a deadline of end of May and threatened to expand the medical marijuana program administratively if the legalization bill isn’t passed by that time. Expanding the medical marijuana program would most likely spell doom for legalization by legislative means since there will be no urgency to debate and pass a standalone recreational marijuana legalization bill.

Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union County), who drafted the legalization bill, is of the opinion that pursuing legislative means to legalize recreational marijuana would bring better and faster results than using a referendum to change the law.

Scutari added that for a referendum to be binding, it needs to be drafted to the effect that the constitution would be amended to allow recreational marijuana in the state. The state should only resort to a referendum if all else fails, he affirmed.

Gov. Phil Murphy is interested in seeing the recreational marijuana bill passed, but the cries of patients who want to see the medical marijuana program expanded may force him to act on having the medical marijuana expansion bill passed on its own. For example, the six existing dispensaries are woefully inadequate to serve the more than 40,000 medical marijuana cardholders.

Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX.V: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) and Sugarmade Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) call on the lawmakers to put aside their differences so that the people of New Jersey aren’t forced to wait for years before recreational marijuana is legal in the state.

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