Marijuana News Round-Up September 24, 2021

Marijuana News Round-Up September 24, 2021

Posted by Lori Ann Reese on 09/24/2021 in Federal Marijuana Laws

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Marijuana News Roundup

This week in your marijuana news weekly round-up from MarijuanaDoctors.com, employers are complaining that good help is hard to find. Has the American adult-use and medical cannabis sector provided better-paying jobs and opportunities for hourly employees? 

New Jersey continues to set new precedents to expand protections for workers who use medical cannabis. Employers may need to cover medical cannabis costs in the future. And a look at how Canadian recreational legalization works; and why John Lennon consulted on legalization.

Marijuana News: Why Are Hourly Workers Hard to Find? 

Have you ever worked in the restaurant industry? Unless you are slinging drinks at a high-end bar or nightclub, tips aren’t as plentiful as you may think. In many states, waitresses and bartenders are paid below minimum wage. With the expectation of a windfall of tips. 

In Texas for example, an employer only has to pay a food or beverage service worker $2.13 per hour, as long as $5.12 per hour is guaranteed in tips. That makes for an average minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Trying paying rent or a mortgage with that.

The pandemic has changed people in a number of ways, according to the Washington Post. For many, it has meant reevaluating what they do for a living. Americans have left the workforce to care for their families and invested that time in retraining. And many of them are not returning to restaurants, bars, or retail stores. They are part of the 321,000 people currently working in the U.S. cannabis industry. 

According to the Leafly Jobs Report (with data provided by Whitney Economics), the cannabis industry added 80,000 new jobs in 2020. And the number of people working in the U.S. cannabis industry is 32% higher in 2021 than it was in 2020. 

That is a huge uptick as the cannabis industry continues to see peak sales through the pandemic. According to the Leafly Jobs Report, there are more cannabis workers right now than dentists, electrical engineers, or paramedics combined. 

Read: “Greener Pastures: Marijuana Jobs are Becoming a Refuge for Retail and Restaurant Workers.” 

New Jersey Medical Cards
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Marijuana News: Insurers Won’t Cover Medical Cannabis But Employers May Have To

One of the most important wins for patients, if cannabis is federally legalized, would be insurance coverage. Some patients can spend up to $500 per month on medical cannabis supplies for chronic illnesses. 

Health insurance will not compensate for it. And it doesn’t even count toward your deductible. Although in some states, if you have a HCA, you may be able to use some of those funds. But it’s rare. And that is because cannabis is still a Schedule I drug on the Controlled Substances Act. Making it illegal, according to Federal law. 

When an employee is injured at work, Workers’ Compensation provides income replacement and rehabilitation assistance. The core purpose is to get an injured American worker back to work. In most cases, it is not possible to sue an employer after a workplace injury. Unless negligence was involved, investigated, and legally proven through a civil case. 

Workplace injuries happen more often than people think. Almost 3 out of every 100 Americans will suffer a workplace injury. Approximately 1% of those cases will involve employer negligence, including safety violations that contributed to the injury for a catastrophic loss injury. Or one that results in a permanent disability or impairment. 

The Supreme Court in New Jersey made marijuana news, as it just ordered an employer to pay the costs of medical cannabis for an injured worker. Learn why the worker qualifies for a lifetime of free medical marijuana (and card renewal expenses) from his previous employer. 

Read: “New Jersey Supreme Court Orders Employer to Cover Medical Cannabis.”

canada cannabis vacation
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Will the U.S. Copy Canadian Cannabis Legalization?

Our neighbors to the north have a few things figured out, eh? Cannabis was nationally legalized in Canada in 2018. And it has worked out really well for Canadians, and we thought they couldn’t get any nicer and more friendly. 

According to marijuana news, when it comes to legalization, America has been dragging its heels for twenty years. But specific to legislation, it has been a tug of war in the U.S. Senate. One party is historically in favor of cannabis and using tax revenues to fund social programs. And some Senators in the other party have an ‘over my dead body’ stance about legalizing marijuana. 

Now we know that federal legalization is unlikely to happen in 2021. There have been some bigger pressing matters for the Biden administration to focus on. But after reaching the national debt ceiling, will Senators be more willing to tap into a cannabis tax windfall? 

If the United States does move ahead with federal legalization, the working groups responsible for formulating the new legislation could look north for inspiration. There are some things about how Canada runs federally legalized cannabis that could work well for America. Like state-run websites that sell cannabis online to age-verified recreational users.

Read: “Cool Stuff You Didn’t Know About Canadian Cannabis Laws.”

Cannabis Vacations
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Counting Down to Real Vacations: What Destinations Are Cannabis Friendly?

Traveling with cannabis? Never a good idea. The internet is full of stories of people who got busted for bringing cannabis into a country—or trying to fly home with weed that they bought on vacation. Don’t do that.  You could end up featured on marijuana news in an unsavory foreign prison.

When you are a patient that uses medical cannabis to moderate your symptoms, traveling can be precarious. Sure, if you are traveling inside the United States, there are places that have reciprocal agreements for patients with a medical card. And other states that provide a temporary visitor card. But what do you do if you are traveling outside of the country? 

If you are dreaming of your post-pandemic vacation getaway, there are some countries that are cannabis-friendly. In some countries, it is nationally legalized. In other countries, it is decriminalized, which means a ticket for possessing small amounts of cannabis. The fine in Jamaica, for example, is $500 JD or $4 USD. 

Read: “420-Friendly Countries for Post-Pandemic Vacation”. 

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